Report: Ben Simmons 'doubtful' for FIBA World Cup

NBA.com Global on Jul 15, 2019 06:52 AM
Report: Ben Simmons 'doubtful' for FIBA World Cup
FILE - PHILADELPHIA, PA - JANUARY 23: Ben Simmons #25 of the Philadelphia 76ers takes the floor for the game against the San Antonio Spurs on January 23, 2019 at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)

NBA.com staff report

Ben Simmons, who teased a run with Australia at the FIBA World Cup, has become "doubtful" to play in the upcoming tournament, per a report by ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

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The move will clear Simmons to prep fully for his upcoming season with the Philadelphia 76ers, who are expected to be a leading contender in the East. Their run to the conference semifinals last season ended in a Game 7 defeat on Kawhi Leonard's four-bounce buzzer-beater, and Jimmy Butler was ultimately swapped for Josh Richardson in a sign-and-trade that cleared space for the acquisition of erstwhile rival Al Horford.

In 2018-19, Simmons averaged 16.9 points, 8.8 rebounds and 7.7 assists as a 6-foot-10 point guard, earning his first All-Star appearance after a Kia Rookie of the Year-winning campaign. Yet his lacking outside shot -- 0-for-17 from three-point range across two seasons -- limited his playmaking ability during the playoffs, and improving there provides the obvious lane for an even more significant leap heading into Year Three.

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