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Agent says Ben Simmons will not play for Australia in Rio Olympics

Ben Simmons

,FILE - In this Nov. 30, 2015, file photo, LSU’s Ben Simmons looks to pass against the College of Charleston during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game at TD Arena in Charleston, S.C. As the Southeastern Conference heads into league competition, it remains tough to figure which teams stand as defending champion Kentucky’s biggest competition. Simmons ranks second nationally in rebounding (13.0) and fourth in the SEC in scoring (19.3). (AP Photo/Mic Smith, File)


The Australians are expected to send plenty of players we know to Rio as they chase a medal at the Olympics: Andrew Bogut, Matthew Dellavedova, Patty Mills, Joe Ingles, Dante Exum (if healthy), and Aron Baynes.

Just don’t expect Ben Simmons to be part of that group.

The projected top pick in the upcoming June draft (although he could fall to second) out of LSU would play key minutes in Rio — if not start — but his agent Rich Paul told Chris Broussard of ESPN the young star is not going to Brazil.

It’s probably the smart move, Simmons has a lot of work do to become NBA ready, particularly on his jumper. He can get some run at Summer League with whatever team drafts him, but those teams will want to get him to work on conditioning programs, reworking that jumper, and defensive positioning, not waiting for him to get back from Brazil.

Expect to see him in Tokyo in 2020. By then he will be trying to promote his brand, and hopefully be making his mark in the league.