NBA News: Has Ben Simmons Hurt Draft Stock With Olympic No-Show?

NBA News: Has Ben Simmons Hurt Draft Stock With Olympic No-Show?
Ben Simmons in the 2015 McDonald’s All-American Boys Game closed practice TonyTheTiger / Flickr CC BY-SA 4.0

Ben Simmons, projected to go No.1 in the 2016 NBA Draft, hasn’t done himself any favors by pulling out of the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, according to league insiders.


Simmons informed Team Australia officials Friday his decision to withdraw from his country’s basketball team for the Rio Olympic Games which will be held between August 5 and 21.

“Ben Simmons will postpone playing with the Australian Olympic team this summer in order to concentrate fully on his NBA activities following the upcoming 2016 NBA draft,” Rich Paul, Simmons’ agent, said in a statement.

Paul, who also represents LeBron James, said his client intends to play for Australia down the road. “Australian Olympic Team training and competition takes place at the same time as the various NBA summer development programs, and therefore, Ben will look forward to his national team participation at some time later in his career.”

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Lacking patriotism?

The decision has met severe criticism around the league, with certain unnamed NBA general managers and scouts questioning Simmons’ character and loyalty. The Australian media also came down hard on Simmons, with Fox Sports trying to justify the teenager’s decision. “The knee-jerk reaction is to question Simmons’ patriotism but, when looking at the facts, it’s easy to understand why the decision was a sensible one.”

According to Fox Sports, Simmons’ decision had a lot to do with fellow Australian Dante Exum suffering an ACL tear during an international friendly last year.

“While representing your country is extremely significant, the needs of your employer should take precedence. Simmons has nothing to prove, and everything to lose. Look no further than Dante Exum, a good friend of Simmons and someone who suffered a season-ending injury in an international game that had no value.”

Is Ben Simmons overrated?

Despite drawing premature comparisons with LeBron James and Magic Johnson, Simmons has been criticized for lacking urgency, with some opining that the 6-10 forward is “vastly overrated”.

In January 2016, Simmons was dubbed as the “the best all-round player since LeBron James” by Lakers legend Magic Johnson after the Australian prodigy became the first player in 20 years to aggregate at least 80 points, 70 rebounds and 30 assists in his first five college games.

Despite that early run, Simmons failed to guide LSU to the NCAA tournament, with certain scouts questioning his intangibles and ability to deliver at the big stage.

Though Ben Simmons is still projected to be a top-3 pick, there are significant worries about his shooting form, or lack thereof, as illustrated by the fact that he attempted only 3 three-pointers throughout his college career with LSU.

Will Brandon Ingram supersede Ben Simmons as the No.1 draft pick in June? It remains to be seen.

Also read:  Ben Simmons To Sign With Adidas Instead Of Nike?

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  • MaLong

    This article is a joke. He needs to focus on the nba draft first. If he gets injured his career is over. Leave the kid alone he has an agent and advisor who knows what’s best for him. He’ll have plenty of chances to represent his country when the time is right.

    • ThanksForYourBlood,Sweat,Tears

      Anyone who drafts this guy ahead of Ingram will live to regret it for the next 20 years. Kind of like how Portland drafted Oden ahead of Durant. Simmons is the most overrated college prospect in history.

      • MaLong

        Right. Cause Ingrams stats are better than Simmons lol. Ingram could be good. Simmons could be great. That’s the difference. You can’t teach natural talent. Athletes with length come along every year. You don’t know anything about basketball or history!

        • MaLong

          Your argument should be the other way around. Whoever passss on Simmons will be fired lol

          • ThanksForYourBlood,Sweat,Tears

            Simmons doesn’t have a jump shot and can’t play defense. Ingram has amazing wing span, can run the floor like a point guard and shoot lights out. The only strength of SImmons is passing. Ingram has the tools to be the next Durant. You please remember this conversation because a year down the road Ingram wins the Rookie of the Year award.

          • MaLong

            He does have a jumpshot he just prefers to drive or get closer to the ring. No one can stop him. Simmons has nba body, high IQ, speed and control, 41.5 inch vertical, Magic Johnson point guard skills and vision. His stats are the best in the last 20 years to so as a freshman. Ingrams stats were average. He only has potential. Not an explosive athlete. Not quick. Average IQ. Average rebounding. Average defense. His length gives him potential. Simmons has everything better by shooting. That will come like kahwi leanoard. Simmons is the next Lebron James. Ingram is rue next bust. He is so skinny that he will break in half like a wafer biscuit when he meets someone like dRaymon green or cousins hahaha

          • MaLong

            wheres your comeback now? also Simmons rebounds like machine! almost 12 boards a game as a freshmen. Total beast!!!