Matthew Dellavedova believes the addition of NBA superstar Ben Simmons will catapult Australia into the medals in September's FIBA World Cup.
Dellavedova was part of the Boomers line-up that heartbreakingly finished fourth at the 2016 Olympics and revealed on Wednesday he'd avoided watching any footage of that "painful" campaign. Instead, Dellavedova said he started reflecting on it during the NBA off-season and it had stoked the fire leading into the World Cup in China, which commences late next month.
"I had tried not to think about Rio too much because obviously it was bitterly disappointing," Dellavedova said in Melbourne. "But that hunger in the belly and that sick feeling of disappointment has been there all (US) summer, and that's why I've been working hard to get ready so we can give it a good crack."
The veteran guard is confident that with Simmons on board Australia have the depth of talent to end their medal drought, with gold a realistic target.
"Along with all the obvious things like Ben's athleticism and his passing and things like that, I think it's the versatility that's going to be the biggest advantage," Dellavedova told AAP. "It will allow Andrej [Lemanis] to roll out a whole heap of different line-ups and I think create a lot of match-up problems for other teams.
"That's probably the biggest change from Rio but we've got a really strong group for training camp and we will see who ends up in the final squad."
The Boomers will warm up for the World Cup with an August clash against World Cup pool rivals Canada in Perth before playing two matches against the United States at Melbourne's Marvel Stadium, which are collectively expected to attract a crowd in excess of 100,000.
The games will be Dellavedova's first competitive hit-outs since April after he missed the back-end of the of the Cleveland Cavaliers' NBA season due to concussion.
The 28-year-old said with so many Australians playing in the NBA, taking on the US held no fears. He also said the Boomers would want to put on a good show in front of the massive home crowd, but not at the expense of their World Cup plans.
"I'm looking forward to that but it's all preparation for the World Cup and that is our goal; to win the gold there," he said. "A lot of that lead-up stuff, while it's great for basketball here we won't let it distract us from what the purpose of those games is."