Anthony Davis Rumors: Pelicans Tried to Keep Star from Playing Post-Trade Demand

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistFebruary 13, 2019

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - FEBRUARY 12: Anthony Davis #23 of the New Orleans Pelicans reacts during the second half against the Orlando Magic at the Smoothie King Center on February 12, 2019 in New Orleans, Louisiana. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

If the New Orleans Pelicans had their way, Anthony Davis wouldn't be playing for them after failing to trade him prior to last week's deadline. 

Per Scott Kushner for The New Orleans Advocate, the Pelicans "tried to make it so [Davis] wouldn't play another game for the franchise" before the NBA essentially forced their hand. 

There had been indications the Pelicans didn't want to put Davis at risk of injury to finish the regular season, knowing he will likely yield a large return in a potential trade this offseason. 

After sitting out nine games with a sprained finger and waiting for a resolution to his trade demand, Davis returned to the Pelicans' lineup on Feb. 8 against the Minnesota Timberwolves. He scored 32 points in just under 25 minutes but didn't play in the fourth quarter of a 122-117 win. 

Davis has attempted just 17 shots in the past two games combined and scored a season-low three points in Tuesday's 118-88 loss to the Orlando Magic. He only had one game with fewer than 10 shots from Oct. 17 through Jan. 18. 

"We sucked," Davis told reporters after Tuesday's game. "Seemed like nobody was interested in playing. When you play like that against a team who’s fighting, you should expect that result."

ESPN.com's Brian Windhorst reported Saturday that Davis' agent, Rich Paul, called the NBA ahead of the Feb. 7 trade deadline and expressed concern the Pelicans would make the All-Star center a healthy scratch for the rest of this season. 

Windhorst added the NBA office informed New Orleans it would be subject to a fine of $100,000 per game if Davis was benched. 

Davis and the Pelicans have one more game before the All-Star break. The layoff could give both sides an opportunity to figure out how they want to approach the second half to avoid another embarrassing performance like they had against Orlando.

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