Philadelphia 76ers' Ben Simmons skipping Tokyo Olympics to focus on developing skills

Ben Simmons, Philadelphia 76ers' basketball player, has informed the Australian Olympic Basketball team that he will not be participating in the Tokyo Games. In a statement, Coach Brian Goorjian stated that he and Team Australia "understand" and "support his decision." "The best thing for everyone right now is that he continue to develop his skill set and improve in a few areas for the next season in NBA. But the Boomers will always be there for him. Goorjian stated that he wanted him to know that the culture and fellow Boomers are there for him in times of need and will support him. Sources told ESPN's Brian Windhorst that Simmons wasn't likely to compete in the Olympics, as he wanted to concentrate on skill development. The Australians are medal contenders and will begin training in Los Angeles this week, before playing Team USA in two exhibition matches next month in Las Vegas. Simmons, 24, was unable to make free throws in the postseason. He went from being a 60% foul shooter during the regular season, to 34.2% in playoffs. In the final quarter of Games 4-7 against the Atlanta Hawks, Simmons failed to attempt a field goal. Philadelphia was eliminated in seven matches. Simmons finished the series with 19 points. Doc Rivers, 76ers coach, said last week that Simmons' shooting problems will be addressed by the 76ers. It will require doing "the right thing" and "the right way". Sources also confirmed to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski last week that Simmons' agent, Klutch Sports CEO Rich Paul (Sixers management), met with him in Chicago at the predraft combine to discuss the next steps for his career as the Rookie of Year 2018. Sources tell Wojnarowski that teams have used the Chicago pre-draft camp as a gauge of Sixers interest in trade packages. However, Philadelphia is still reluctant to disintegrate the team of Joel Embiid, Simmons, and not maximising a return and exhausting every possibility to improve Simmons' offense.

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