Aussies in NBA: Ben Simmons to miss Summer League

Jul 12, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Philadelphia 76ers forward Ben Simmons (25) directs teammates during an NBA Summer League game against the Golden State Warriors at Thomas & Mack Center. Golden State won the game 85-77. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Ben Simmons will not take part in the 2017 NBA Summer League as he continues his comeback from foot surgery, Sixers president of basketball operations Bryan Colangelo announced today.

Simmons, the first overall selection in the 2016 NBA draft, has yet to play a single minute in the league after fracturing the fifth metatarsal in his right foot during a scrimmage in September of last year, but is on track to make his debut come October.

“Doing well. Everyone’s moving along,” Colangelo said when asked about both Simmons’ and fellow Sixer Joel Embiid’s rehab schedules.

“Things are on course for a healthy return next season. They’re not playing in the summer league.”

Simmons hasn’t played since the 2016 instalment of the NBA’s Summer League, where he was named to the tournament’s first team. He posted averages of 10.8 points, 7.7 rebounds and 5.8 assists on 36 percent shooting.

It’s understandable that Philadelphia are taking a cautious approach when it comes to their plethora of young, highly regarded talent. After actively tanking for a number of seasons under former general manager Sam Hinkie, the Sixers can’t afford to have the fruits of that endeavour wasted due to being over zealous. There is no need to risk Simmons to injury, especially in the Summer League.

The Philadelphia front office have a lot riding on the success of Simmons’ rehab, and while it’s frustrating for both Philly and Aussie basketball fans to have to wait a little longer to see Simmons play, it’s undoubtedly the right decision.

Summer League action kicks off on July 7.

Kyle Standfield

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Student journalist covering Aussies in the NBA for The Pick and Roll. Follow me on twitter @KyleStandfield

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