Sixers: Ben Simmons, Matisse Thybulle expected to join Boomers in Olympics

Ben Simmons, Matisse Thybulle, Sixers Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Ben Simmons, Matisse Thybulle, Sixers Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

Ben Simmons of the Philadelphia 76ers and Joe Ingles of the Utah Jazz, along with the other Australians playing in the NBA, have the option to get vaccinated in the U.S, in order to suit up to play for the Boomers in the Tokyo Olympics this year. Boomers coach Brian Goorjian is expecting Simmons, Ingles, and Sixers wing Matisse Thybulle to play in Tokyo regardless of how deep their NBA franchises go in the playoffs.

The addition of Ben Simmons (averaging roughly 15 points, eight rebounds and seven assists) would be phenomenal to the Australian team, as the DPOY candidate continues to stay in stellar form on the defensive front as the Sixers continue their tough stretch of games.

Similarly, this opportunity to play for the Boomers would be perfect for Ben to show his confidence and aggressiveness on offense. His ability to distribute the ball and find open shooters would also be lethal for the team, as the Boomer have their fare share of deep threats. In 2019, the Boomers shocked everyone by defeating the USA National team, for the first time in 55 years. Now, with Ben on the team, the heights the Boomers can achieve stretch the imagination.

Likewise, having Thybulle on the Boomers team would also be highly beneficial, the 24-year-old too is having a remarkable season, being eighth in league for steals despite playing just 19.2 minutes per game. He is also the only non-center to break it into the top 20 in blocks per 36 minutes. Having said that, he is also leading the NBA in defensive estimated plus-minus, just in front of other DPOY candidate, Rudy Gobert.

Any coach would love to have someone like Thybulle in their team, his defensive IQ and presence on the court is unmatched, constantly on his opponent’s tail. This opportunity for Thybulle is also optimal as this allows him to work on his offensive game around the likes of players such as Joe Ingles and Patty Mills.

The Boomers expect to have two key Sixers on the roster in Tokyo. The logistics, however, could get complicated.

The primary goal of the Boomers is to bring home an Olympic ring for the first time ever. However, there is an obstacle which could prevent this from happening, which is the potential clash of the Tokyo Olympics and the NBA season. The final potential game played in the 2020-2021 season (Game 7, NBA Finals) is due to finish a day before the initiation of the Tokyo Olympics opening ceremony. This allows for no preparation time for the players, as they would have to fly out straight away.

"“But their hands are up for the Boomers, and when it [the NBA season] finishes, they will come across and join us, and it will be what it will be. The way I see it is that those guys [Simmons and Ingles] are going to be in this team, no matter if they win the thing or get knocked out.” — Boomers’ coach Brian Goorjian, via Fox Sports AU"

It is easy saying this, however the final decision would come down to Ben and his management. The Australian Olympic Committee chief executive has already given the go-ahead to allow Ben and the other players to get their COVID vaccines in the U.S.

"“The NBA is already doing all their testing, and as I understand from a comment made by the US Olympic Committee president, athletes such as those two will be vaccinated in America” — Matt Carrol, via Fox Sports AU"

As an Australian, I would love to have both Ben Simmons and Matisse Thybulle on the Boomers squad. However, it is totally understandable if they decide to turn down the offers to rest up in Philly, particularly if they make a deep playoff run. Also, considering the uniqueness of this season, with the tightness of the schedules and the lack of family time each player receives, there could be a chance of Ben not suiting up for the Boomers.

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