Anthony Davis wants to play — it’s in his nature. If he’s healthy he wants to be in the game, even if there are very logical reasons for him to sit.
Davis is officially questionable for Wednesday night’s Pelicans game vs. the Bulls.
However, he has been medically cleared, the Pelicans just want to sit him out before the trade deadline, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic.
That seems to be more when then if, it appears highly unlikely the Pelicans will trade Davis — to the Lakers or anywhere else — before Thursday’s trade deadline. As has been reported at NBC Sports since the day it was leaked Davis’ camp had asked for a trade, sources have told me the Pelicans planned to be patient. This was never going to be a quick decision unless there was a Godfather offer (and the latest one from the Lakers does not qualify in the Pelicans’ book). Another thing to remember: Pelicans’ GM Dell Demps is fielding the calls right now, but he is on thin ice within the organization. If Micky Loomis (the Saints executive Demps reports too, and a man known for being patient in trades) is planning to clean house with the front office, he would want the new GM to have the chance to make this deal, not saddle him with the trade Demps thought was good enough.
What becomes interesting is after the trade deadline if Davis is still a member of the Pelicans.
There would be good reasons to sit him — and for Davis to want to sit out. Specifically, the risk of injury. If something severe and unfortunate were to happen, it would be bad news for everyone involved. Plus, the Pelicans are in tank mode now (not that they’ll admit it) and playing Davis makes them demonstrably better and would get them wins. There are logical reasons for Davis to be a healthy scratch for the rest of the season.
But how would the NBA league office react? A healthy top five player in the league sitting? It’s one thing to have J.R. Smith or Carmelo Anthony out — both of them had struggled on the court and there was a good basketball case to sit them out. There is no such case for Davis.
One way or another, it’s going to be an interesting rest of the season in New Orleans.