Boomers coach Brian Goorjian has put the ball in Ben Simmons' court ahead of the World Cup, stating the divisive NBA All-Star is a "strong chance" of making a shock return.
After missing the entire 2021-22 campaign following back surgery, Simmons pulled the pin early on an underwhelming season at Brooklyn with back and knee complaints.
But the 26-year-old is not expected to require surgery and on Friday (AEST) posted a photo to Instagram sitting poolside on an apparent tropical getaway.
Bronze at Tokyo's 2021 Games was Australia's first international silverware and, with or without Simmons, they'll be among the favourites to contend in August and September's World Cup.
A fit Simmons could play as a specialist forward or as part of a Boomers' back court marshalled by veteran and Nets teammate Patty Mills and second-year NBA star Josh Giddey, creating arguably the deepest Australian team ever assembled.
"I think his (Ben's) mindset is getting healthy, getting in shape and getting ready to play in this (World Cup)," Goorjian told SEN Radio.
"And I think he has been along that line for a while and I felt it last time.
"As we sit now, I think there is a really strong chance (that he plays at the World Cup)."
The Melbourne-born, three-time All-Star has never played for Australia at a World Cup or Olympics no thanks to a variety of reasons.
The precocious talent was cut from the final 2014 Cup roster before opting out of the 2016 Olympics to focus on his rookie NBA season.
Simmons was flourishing with Philadelphia when he pulled out of the 2019 World Cup after signing a rich five year-contract extension.
Then he missed the Tokyo 2021 campaign that netted bronze as the out-of-form talent battled the fallout of a meek NBA post-season exit that eventually saw him traded to the Nets.
"There were unfortunate circumstances (why he didn't play at Tokyo), but I feel like he is going to make himself available," Goorjian said.
"Our door is always open to him and during my time with the Boomers he has always been straightforward with me," he said.
"But that was a very tough situation (in Philadelphia) and he was in the process of change.
"It (the Boomers) just didn't work, but now he is in a situation where he is getting his health back to be ready to play."
The Boomers will play pool games against Finland, Germany and co-hosts Japan in Okinawa, with the finals to be contested in the Philippines.
Australia were surging to a guaranteed medal at China's World Cup four years ago before blowing big leads against eventual champions Spain in the semi-final and then again to France in the bronze-medal game.
Largely the same squad broke the hoodoo in Tokyo.
But since then Giddey, who was overlooked for that team, has burst onto the NBA scene and Dyson Daniels, Josh Green and Jock Landale have also established themselves in the United States.
Joe Ingles returned from a long-term knee injury with the Bucks this year, while Matisse Thybulle, Xavier Cooks, Nic Kay, Jack White, Aron Baynes, Chris Goulding, Matthew Dellavedova and Dante Exum provide Goorjian with a swollen pool of world-class talent and experience.