Ben Simmons could make a long-awaited Boomers appearance as early as this year’s World Cup, with coach Brian Goorjian confirming the three-time NBA All-Star is keen to represent his country.
Simmons was cut from the 2014 World Cup roster and since then has continuously put his NBA career first. Instead of competing in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, Simmons spent the off-season working on skills development.
Goorjian confirmed to SEN he’d had discussions with the 26-year-old, ones which could see Simmons pull on the green and gold across the Phillipines, Indonesia and Japan at this year’s World Cup.
“I think his (Ben’s) mindset is getting healthy, getting in shape and getting ready to play in this (World Cup),” Goorjian told 1170 SEN Afternoons.
“And I think he has been along that line for a while and I felt it last time.
“There were unfortunate circumstances (why he didn’t play at Tokyo), but I feel like he is going to make himself available.”
Simmons had spent much of his Brooklyn Nets career battling injuries and has had a line put through him for the remainder of the season.
However, he’s reportedly set to avoid a second surgery on his back and the Boomers would welcome the former 36er with open arms.
“Our door is always open to him and during my time with the Boomers he has always been straightforward with me,” Goorjian added.
“But that was a very tough situation (in Philadelphia) and he was in the process of change.
“It (the Boomers) just didn’t work, but now he is in a situation where he is getting his health back to be ready to play.
“As we sit now, I think there is a really strong chance (that he plays at the World Cup).
“I also feel that Ben understands being with the Boomers and enjoying his basketball while representing his country.
“He will also be around these guys that he has grown up with. He gets that and he wants that.”
Simmons hasn't played for Australia since he was overlooked as an 18-year-old.