Ben Simmons Looking to Recruit Matisse Thybulle for Australian Boomers
This summer, many NBA players won't be getting the vacation they typically take when the season wraps up. Instead, a good chunk of prospects will play in the 2020 Olympics located in Tokyo, Japan. The complete list of Sixers players who will have the opportunity to play in the Olympics is unclear.
But Sixers' guard Ben Simmons did make it known that he will be a part of the Australian team, which is also known as the 'Boomers.' It was a no-brainer decision for Simmons, who is a native of Melbourne.
Not only does the Sixers' All-Star want to represent where he's from, but he also gets to do it under the supervision of his current head coach, Brett Brown. A few months back, Brown closed in on the deal that would name him the Boomer's head coach this year.
So now that the Australian team has the Sixers' All-Star and head coach, Simmons is working on trying to recruit his fellow teammate, Matisse Thybulle. The first-round rookie has spent seven years in Australia as a kid and would be eligible to join the Boomers if he wants to. However, Thybulle hasn't made that decision just yet.
Just because he's undecided at the moment, though, doesn't mean Simmons isn't confident in his ability to recruit the rookie. While in Chicago for NBA All-Star Weekend, Simmons was asked about Thybulle's decision regarding which team he would like to play for, and a confident Ben Simmons responded by saying, "he's going to play for Australia."
The third-year All-Star also buttered up the rookie by naming Thybulle as his selection for NBA's Rookie of the Year. While it's well-known that Thybulle is pretty much out of that two-man race between Zion Williamson and Ja Morant, the former Rookie of the Year himself won't name anybody outside of his circle.
Will Simmons' All-Star weekend recruiting work for Thybulle? It's unclear at the moment. According to Fox Sports' Olgun Uluc, Thybulle "hasn't put too much thought" into it just yet. As there's still a good chunk of time left in the NBA season, Thybulle is focused on helping contribute to his first NBA playoff run.
Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated. You can follow him on Twitter: @JGrasso_