Report: Sixers' Simmons 'doubtful' for Australia in World CupReuters | Updated: 14-07-2019 06:06 IST | Created: 14-07-2019 06:03 IST
Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons, announced in May as part of Australia's 2019 FIBA World Cup team, is now "doubtful" to play in the event, according to a report from ESPN on Saturday. Simmons, who turns 23 next Saturday, is coming off an All-Star season in which he averaged 16.9 points, 8.8 rebounds, and 7.7 assists in 79 games for the Sixers.
ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, citing Simmons' agent Rich Paul, reported that it's more likely the young playmaking guard will focus this summer on getting ready for his third NBA season rather than the World Cup. Simmons and the team are also working out the details on a reported five-year, $170 million maximum contract extension, Wojnarowski reported earlier this month. Simmons was born in Australia and lived there until he moved to the United States in 2013 to play high school basketball. He was the first pick in the 2016 NBA Draft and the winner of Rookie of the Year honors in 2017-18 after sitting out a season due to injury.
He talked after last season about playing in upcoming events for the Australian national team, known as the Boomers. Team Australia will compete in four warmup games, including two against USA Basketball, in Melbourne in August. The World Cup will be played in China from Aug. 31 through Sept. 15.
Seven teams will qualify directly from the World Cup for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The next 16 best teams will compete in a FIBA Olympic qualifying tournament in 2020. The Boomers finished fourth in the 2016 Rio Olympics.
--Field Level Media