Rivers confirms Simmons wants out: 'We're going to try' to get Ben back
"It was a good conversation, and he gave his reasons (why he wanted out), which we obviously didn't agree with," Rivers said of Simmons' meeting with 76ers management during an appearance on ESPN's "First Take" on Wednesday.
Simmons reportedly made it clear he doesn't intend to play another game for the 76ers and is willing to hold out until he gets traded.
However, Rivers is adamant the organization wants to keep the disgruntled Simmons.
"I can tell you up-front, we would love to get Ben back. And if we can, we're going to try to do that," Rivers said.
The bench boss also pushed back when asked about his comments following the team's playoff exit against the Atlanta Hawks, in which Rivers seemed to question Simmons' fit with the franchise.
"It was being portrayed that I was out there saying, 'I don't think we can win with Ben,' and I do. I told Ben that the next day," Rivers said. "I've been in sports a long time, and I'm not misrepresented very often, but in that case, I was."
Simmons is coming off another strong season that saw him average 14.3 points, 7.2 rebounds, 6.9 assists, and 1.6 steals across 58 games while finishing as the runner-up for Defensive Player of the Year. The Australian is entering the second season of a five-year, $177.2-million contract and isn't set to become an unrestricted free agent until the summer of 2025.
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