Australia to talk with Sixers’ Ben Simmons about availability for 2019 FIBA World Cup
Simmons has been expected to be lined up for the quadrennial affair, but it was reportedly recently that the Sixers star is “doubtful” to suit up for the Australian national team in the tournament. According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, Simmons is likely to spend the offseason working out on his game in preparation for the 2019-20 NBA season.
However, Australia’s basketball coach Andrej Lemanis isn’t ready to give up on Simmons and said they will continue dialogues with his camp to determine if there’s a way the All-Star can play for the Boomers.
“This is not new to us and we will continue our dialogue with Ben, and his agent Rich Paul, and see how it plays out,” Lemanis told the Australian Associated Press, per ESPN.
“There is a genuine desire from Ben to play and we hope that circumstances unfold favourably to allow him to do so.”
Australia is in Group H in the FIBA World Cup which will be held in China. They are grouped against Canada, Senega and Lithuania, which makes the availability of Simmons important to them.
The Boomers need to be at their full-strength when they play the other powerhouse teams, and having Simmons is expected to help them increase their chances in finishing in the top two of their group.