The game of cat-and-mouse between Anthony Davis and the New Orleans Pelicans is not over just because the 2019 NBA trade deadline has passed. Davis remained on the Pelicans roster after Thursday’s deadline came to be, and as such speculation moved to whether the team would continue to hold him out or play him moving forward.
Davis apparently wanted to play the rest of the season, putting a kink in the plans of New Orleans to preserve him rest of the year as a means of keeping his trade value protected from the threat of injury. Late Thursday evening, reports surfaced that the Pelicans would indeed move Davis into the lineup.
It seems to me that Davis was trying to call New Orleans’ bluff, and it worked. Holding a healthy player out would give Davis grounds to file grievance against the team, which the Pels didn’t want.
In fairness, the Pelicans are — finally — trying to manage their team the best they can. Maintaining Davis’ trade value is of the utmost priority, especially as they are unlikely to be a playoff team this season. Holding Davis out is their best option, but Davis fought back.
You can’t blame GM Dell Demps for trying, but expect to see Davis on the floor in a Pelicans uniform once again.