Nets' Ben Simmons withdraws from Australian Boomers FIBA World Cup campaign to focus on back injury rehabilitation

5 months ago 115

Brooklyn Nets guard Ben Simmons will not be a part of the Australian Boomers' World Cup campaign, Basketball Australia announced today. 

Nets Daily initially reported that Simmons and the Nets came to the decision for the 26-year-old to continue the rehabilitation on his back injury that limited him to just 42 games in the 2022-23 NBA season. 

Simmons hasn't played for the Boomers since making his debut at the 2013 FIBA Oceania championships, but had previously committed to playing at the 2019 World Cup and 2021 Olympics before withdrawing ahead of the tournaments. 

While Simmons wasn't a part of the Boomers' initial 18-man squad for the 2023 FIBA World Cup, there was optimism that he could join the pre-tournament training camp depending on the progress of his rehab. 

Ben Simmons and the Brooklyn Nets have advised Basketball Australia that Ben is unavailable for the World Cup.
Ben needs more time to focus on his rehab and he looks forward to being part of the Boomers in the future.
We wish Ben all the best in his recovery.

— Basketball Australia (@BasketballAus) June 29, 2023

According to Nets Daily, Simmons remains upbeat about potentially making his return to the Australian national team next year for the Paris 2024 Olympics.

MORE: Boomers ushering in next generation headlined by Josh Giddey and Dyson Daniels

His Nets teammate and fellow Aussie Patty Mills says Simmons is doing everything he can to get healthy for training camp.

"From what I’ve heard, he’s looking after his body and getting to his shape and health that I think everyone wants and needs him to be. So I think first and foremost for him, it’s just about getting to that part where he can be Ben again," Mills said, via The New York Daily News' Kristian Winfield.  

"Obviously a full offseason of healthy rehab, healthy workouts both in the gym and on the court, I think is what he’s looking at. From what I’ve heard, he’s looking good, feeling good, and we’ll see how we roll out from then. But I think until then, we’ve just gotta wait and see."

Simmons is coming off a disappointing season with the Nets, averaging career-lows across the board with averages of 6.9 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 6.1 assists, missing the final 23 games of the season due to his ongoing back issues.

MORE: Josh Giddey excited for World Cup - 'I’ve always dreamed of playing for the Boomers'

Ben Simmons contract details

Simmons has two years remaining on the five-year, $170 million contract extension he signed with the Philadelphia 76ers in 2019.

The deal runs through the 2024-25 season, and there are no options in the final year. He is owed nearly $80 million across the final two years and will become an unrestricted free agent ahead of the 2025-26 season.

Season 2022-23 2023-24 2024-25 2025-26
Simmons' salary $35.4 million $37.9 million  $40.3 million UFA

2023 Australian Boomers extended squad

The 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup will run from August 25 to September 10, with the Boomers' playing their first two group phases in Okinawa, Japan, before traveling to Manila, Philippines for the finals games, should they qualify.

They have been drawn in Group E alongside Germany, Finland, and Japan.

Player Team
Xavier Cooks Washington Wizards
Dyson Daniels New Orleans Pelicans
Matthew Dellavedova Melbourne United
Josh Giddey Oklahoma City Thunder
Josh Green Dallas Mavericks
Joe Ingles Milwaukee Bucks
Jock Landale Phoenix Suns
Patty Mills Brooklyn Nets
Matisse Thybulle Portland Trail Blazers
Jack White Denver Nuggets
Dante Exum Partizan Belgrade
Nick Kay Shimane Susanoo Magic
Duop Reath Qingdao Eagles
Thon Maker Fujian Sturgeons
Sam Froling Illawarra Hawks
Keanu Pinder Perth Wildcats
Chris Goulding Melbourne United
Will McDowell-White New Zealand Breakers
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