Ben Simmons is confident that rookie Matisse Thybulle will play for the Australian National Team in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
“He’s [Thybulle] going to play for Australia,” said a confident Simmons during All-Star weekend.
Thybulle is a dual citizen of the United States and Australia after spending seven years in Australia as a kid.
Therefore, he would be eligible to play for the Boomers if he wants to, but he has been non-committal about his international playing status.
Thybulle said his decision regarding international play would likely come at the end of the 76ers’ season.
“I can’t say I’ve put too much thought into which one I’d like to go to, which (opportunity) I’d like to take,” Thybulle said, per Olgun Oluc of Fox Sports Australia. “But I think this season is going to be a good opportunity to showcase myself and figure out what opportunities I have at the end of the season.”
Simmons on the other hand, has already announced his desire to represent Australia in the 2020 Olympics under Philadelphia 76ers head coach Brett Brown.
Australia hasn’t won a medal at a major international competition and the 2020 Olympics will more than likely be the last chance to do so with the current core of players that include Aron Baynes, Joe Ingles and Patty Mills.
Simmons hasn’t played with that group of players since coming to the NBA, but his presence would help Australia’s chances at a medal.
Thybulle’s presence would also help, according to Simmons.
“Defensively, he is much better than what I thought he was going to be,” Simmons said. “He kind of gives us that push also. It’s great to have him on the court.”
Simmons continued his recruiting effort for Thybulle by naming him as his Rookie of the Year, even though Ja Morant has a hold on the award, unless something drastic happens.