There will be plenty of familiar NBA names wearing the green and gold of Australia at the 2016 Olympics this summer. Andrew Bogut, Patty Mills, Matthew Dellavedova, Joe Ingles, Aron Baynes and on-the-mend Dante Exum are all on board to play for the Boomers in Rio.
But possible No. 1 pick in the draft Ben Simmons will pass on joining his mates, according to Chris Broussard of ESPN.com.
Agent Rich Paul: Ben Simmons won’t play 4 Australia n 2016 Olympics n Rio. Will focus on NBA activities & look 2 play 4 Australia n future.
— Chris Broussard (@Chris_Broussard) April 8, 2016
Generally regarded as the top college freshman this year, the 19-year-old Simmons averaged 19.2 points, 11.8 rebounds and 4.8 assists for LSU. He’s drawn comparisons to Magic Johnson for his size and court vision. However the 6-10 forward was unable to lead his team to a berth in the NCAA Tournament and could use work on his outside shot, defense and overall concentration on the court. The belief is he’ll help his pro career more by joining whichever team drafts him for play in one of the NBA summer leagues rather than play in the Olympics.