With all of the drama surrounding the NBA trade deadline, it is easy to forget that there are actual games going on every night. While much of the talk is centered around the Lakers and their pursuit of Pelicans all-star Anthony Davis, he has another issue besides wanting to get out of New Orleans before the trade deadline.
The disgruntled star has been sidelined with a finger injury that has kept him out for two weeks now. However, according to reports from Chris Haynes of Yahoo! Sports, Davis was not only healthy enough to play Monday night against the Pacers but was trying to back on the floor before the Pelicans made him sit out.
Haynes stated that this might not be the only time the Pelicans do this leading up to Thursday’s trade deadline.
Davis, 25, eagerly wanted to suit up at home against the Indiana Pacers after recovering from a left finger avulsion that sidelined him for a little more than two weeks, sources said, but the organization elected to keep him inactive. There’s the impression that his absence could potentially extend until the conclusion of Thursday’s 3 p.m. ET trade deadline, sources said.
The Pelicans ended up losing a close game to the Pacers and fell to 3-10 without Davis on the season.
Of course, this just might be the Pelicans holding him out to eliminate any risk of injury that might change a trade at the deadline. Although, there is also a sense that he won’t play much for the Pelicans even if he remains on the team past Thursday.
If Davis is not traded by the deadline, it is anticipated he would be allowed to join his teammates on the court, but there’s a strong possibility he could be “shut down to an extent” for the remainder of the season at some point after the All-Star break, sources said.
Davis has spoken publicly about his eagerness to play again this season but the Pelicans may have other ideas in order to not only avoid an injury that would hurt their trade prospects this summer but also increase the potential of a high first-round pick.
To my knowledge, a team has never done anything like this – sitting a healthy 25-year old all-star for half a season due to trade demands. It goes without saying this would be setting a potential new precedent for teams dealing with stars who demand trades in season.