Report: Simmons doubtful for Olympics, will develop skills in offseason

David Dow / National Basketball Association / Getty

Philadelphia 76ers star Ben Simmons is unlikely to feature for Australia at the Tokyo Olympics this summer, sources told ESPN's Brian Windhorst.

Simmons reportedly intends to spend the offseason developing his skills.

The 24-year-old's shooting abilities came under intense scrutiny as the Atlanta Hawks eliminated Philadelphia from the playoffs on Sunday.

"I don't know the answer to that right now," head coach Doc Rivers said when asked if Simmons could be the starting point guard for a championship squad.

Star center Joel Embiid said the "turning point" in the loss came in the fourth quarter when Simmons passed out of a wide-open attempt under the basket.

Rivers, however, sounded more conciliatory on Monday. The 59-year-old said the team will work this offseason to rectify Simmons' shooting struggles.

"I believe, without going into detail with what we're doing, I believe we know what the right work is, and the right type of work, and the right way to do it," he told ESPN's Tim Bontemps.

"You can do the work all the time. But if it's not done in the right way and the right type of work, you may not improve," he added. "After being here for a year, I really do believe we've identified what and how, and now we have to do the do part. We have to work to do it. It's not going to be an easy job. But it's definitely a job that Ben can do."

Simmons is considered one of the best defensive players in the NBA but has struggled mightily with his shooting. His 11.9 points per game in 12 playoff contests this year marked the worst output of his career.

His difficulties carried over to the free-throw line, too. Simmons shot just 34.2% on 6.1 attempts per game from the charity stripe, the worst free-throw percentage in one postseason by a player with at least 70 attempts, according to ESPN Stats & Info.

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Report: Simmons doubtful for Olympics, will develop skills in offseason
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