Philadelphia 76ers point forward Simmons announced that he will not participate in his home country’s 2019 FIBA World Cup big this summer. Simmons, the former Rookie of the Year for the Sixers, however, does expect to play for Australia in 2020 for the Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan.
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Simmons also thanked those who congratulated him on his extension. The almost-23-year-old signed a max extension with the club this offseason—totaling $170 million over five years. Simmons can earn a bonus if he makes an All-NBA team at the conclusion of the 2019-20 season.
Simmons, the first overall pick of the 2016 NBA Draft out of LSU, was born in Melbourne, Australia, and grew up in Newcastle, New South Wales. He was sidelined for one year following his draft selection but made his debut for the Sixers in 2017-18, eventually winning Rookie of the Year and guiding the team to its first postseason berth in six years. He earned his first All-Star appearance this past season.
Simmons participated in the 2012 FIBA Under-17 World Championship for Australia at 15 years old, where the junior team lost to the USA in the finals. He would appear on the senior team in the gold-medalling run for the Aussies in the 2013 FIBA Oceanic Championship.
Ever the triple-double threat, Simmons averaged 16.9 points, 8.8 rebounds, and 7.7 assists per game in 79 appearances last season for the Sixers, shooting 56.3% from the field.
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