Ben Simmons will not play for Team Australia in the 2023 FIBA World Cup this August, according to NetsDaily. Simmons has been progressing through a rehabilitation program after missing the second half of the Brooklyn Nets 2022-23 NBA campaign with a knee injury and nerve impingement in his surgically-repaired back.
I’m told Ben Simmons will not play in FIBA World Cup in August, that he and the Nets decided it’s not worth cutting short his rehab by three weeks. Meanwhile, Nets upbeat about his prospects this season and he’s looking forward to Paris Olympics in 2024. More later.
— NetsDaily (@NetsDaily) June 29, 2023
The report may surprise and disappoint Boomers head coach Ben Goorjian, who said there was a “really strong chance” that Simmons would suit up this summer after he missed the 2021 Tokyo Olympics. With Simmons out, Nets guard Patty Mills will be among the NBA players leading Australia as captain of the Boomers. Brooklyn assistant coach Adam Caporn will also serve as one of the team's top coaches.
Simmons has not appeared in a game since February 15th. After sitting out the entire 2021-22 season with the Philadelphia 76ers, the former number-one pick underwent a microdiscectomy on a herniated disk last summer. He then played just 42 games with Brooklyn last season while battling back and knee ailments, averaging 6.9 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 6.1 assists per game.
The 26-year-old has been seen working out at Brooklyn's HSS Training Center and the University of Miami this offseason, posting several pictures to his Instagram account.
Simmons' new agent, Bernie Lee, told the New York Post last month that the Aussie had been cleared to move to the next stage of his rehab and is “progressing really well.” Nets general manager Sean Marks said Simmons' timeline will have him 100 percent healthy by September 1st before training camp.
The 6-foot-10 guard/forward's NBA future is among the Nets' top question marks following the midseason trades of Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. Simmons is under contract with Brooklyn for $78 million over the next two seasons.