Anthony Davis might have played his final game for the New Orleans Pelicans.
No, he hasn’t been traded. Not yet, at least.
The star forward requested to be dealt prior to the NBA trade deadline, but the Pelicans were resistant to move him to his desired destination, the Los Angeles Lakers, electing instead to hold onto him until the summer. Davis has been adamant that he wants to play for the Pelicans during the stretch run, but the four games he played after the deadline were a mess, culminating in the shoulder contusion he suffered in last Thursday’s win over the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Davis played just five minutes in the NBA All-Star Game on Sunday and now it’s up to the Pelicans to decide if they want to let him continue to play and risk injury or shut him down prior to trading him in the offseason. Those within the organization reportedly have mixed feelings, according to Scott Kushner of The Advocate.
The Pelicans and Davis — along with his agent Rich Paul — reportedly have not yet figured how to manage Davis’ playing time for the remainder of the season, according to The Athletic’s Sam Amick.
“According to sources on both sides, there is no plan yet in place for how they will handle this after the All-Star break. The Pelicans and Davis (with Paul advising) are re-evaluating the best way to handle his playing time – again.”
New Orleans fired general manager Dell Demps after Davis and Paul left the arena Thursday prior to the end of the game, as owner Gayle Benson reportedly was not happy with how Demps handled the entire saga.
It’s a situation that is going to get a whole lot weirder before Davis eventually winds up in Los Angeles, Boston, New York or wherever the Pelicans choose to ship him. While the 25-year-old is having a phenomenal season and wants to help the Pelicans try to make a late playoff run, does he really want to risk injury while playing for a team he no longer wants to be apart of? And do the Pelicans want to gamble with their biggest trade chip in order to try and snag the eighth seed and get dusted by the Golden State Warriors?
The answer should be no on all counts.
Thumbnail photo via Derick E. Hingle/USA TODAY Sports Images