Sixers Superstar Ben Simmons Unlikely To Join Team Australia In 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics, Here's Why

Ben Simmons making plays for the Sixes
Gettyimages | Tim Nwachukwu
Basketball

Team Australia is considered as one of the strong contenders to win the gold medal in the upcoming 2020 Tokyo Men's Olympic Basketball Tournament. Aside from Team USA, they are among the teams that have plenty of NBA players on their roster. However, Team Australia would be heading into the Land of the Rising Sun without one of their best players, Philadelphia 76ers point guard Ben Simmons.

According to ESPN, Simmons recently informed Team Australia that he won't be joining them in the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics.

Why Did Ben Simmons Opt Out Of 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics?

Ben Simmons running the Sixers' offense
Gettyimages | Kevin C. Cox

Simmons may have previously expressed his desire to represent his home country in the Olympics but as of now, he wants to prioritize his NBA career. After the major flaws in his game were exposed in the 2021 NBA Playoffs, Simmons is reportedly planning to spend the entire 2021 offseason to develop his skills, specifically his shooting.

Aside from his inability to knock down shots from beyond the arc, the former No. 1 overall pick has also struggled with his free-throw shooting in the postseason. From being a 60 percent free-throw shooter in the regular season, Simmons' percentage dropped to 34.2 in the 2021 NBA Playoffs, per ESPN.

2021 Offseason Improvement Determines Ben Simmons' Future In The League

Ben Simmons trying to score against Myles Turner
Gettyimages | Pool

The improvements that Simmons will make in the 2021 offseason would be vital as it could determine his future in the league. After his disappointing performance in the 2021 NBA Playoffs, Simmons' trade value has dramatically declined and rumors have started to circulate that the Sixers would try to trade him this summer.

If he succeeds to address his shooting woes, it would be easier for the Sixers to trade Simmons for a superstar or they could just let him continue his partnership with Joel Embiid in the City of Brotherly Love.

Team Australia Supports Ben Simmons' Decision

Coach Brian Goorjian talking to the media
Gettyimages | Ryan Pierse

Simmons is undeniably a huge loss for Team Australia in the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics. However, Coach Brian Goorjian said in a recent statement that he and Team Australia understand and support Simmons' decision.

"The best thing for everybody right now is for him to go on and develop that skill package and improve in a couple of areas for his next season in the NBA, but the Boomers are always here for him. We wanted him to know that in his time of need, the culture and the guys here are behind him and support him," Goorjian said.

Team Australia's Projected Roster In 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics

Though Simmons chose not to participate, Team Australia is still expected to form a formidable roster in the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics. Some of the NBA players who could represent Team Australia include Aron Baynes of the Toronto Raptors, Matthew Dellavedova of the Cleveland Cavaliers, Dante Exum of the Houston Rockets, Josh Green of the Dallas Mavericks, Joe Ingles of the Utah Jazz, Patty Mills of the San Antonio Spurs, and Matisse Thybulle of the Sixers.

Meanwhile, the non-NBA players that could complete the 12-man roster are Xavier Cooks, Mitch Creek, Josh Giddey, Chris Goulding, Nick Kay, Jock Landale, Brock Motum, Duop Reath, and Nathan Sobey.