Anthony Davis will not play for the Pelicans against the Lakers
The Pelicans are resting Anthony Davis in tonight’s game against the Los Angeles Lakers in New Orleans. Davis played 19 minutes in the Pelicans’ 126-111 loss to the Pacers in Indiana last night.
Pelicans star Anthony Davis will sit tonight’s back to back against the Los Angeles Lakers due to rest.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) February 23, 2019
Davis has made it clear that he wants to be traded, and that by making his request public before the trade deadline this season he was giving the Lakers their best opportunity to make a deal. The Boston Celtics, who many argue have the best collection of potential assets to send in a trade, couldn’t acquire Davis because of the Rose Rule. Additionally, Davis’ father texted Ramona Shelburne of ESPN, ““I would never want my son to play for Boston after what they done to Isaiah Thomas,” and was sighted sitting court-side at a Laker’s game with LeBron James and Davis’ agent, Rich Paul.
The Pelicans are expected to trade Davis during the offseason, and as the team has fallen to thirteen place in the Western Conference, many have argued that it would be in their best interest to shut down Davis for the rest of the year to prevent an injury. However, the NBA league office threatened a $100,000 fine citing their rest rule.
New Orleans has worked to keep Davis’ minutes down, sitting him during the fourth quarter of games or resting him on the second night of a back-to-back, like tonight. Davis had 15 points during his 19 minutes played against the Pacers.
After tonight’s match up with the Lakers—who are fighting for the eighth seed in the West—New Orleans hosts the Philadelphia 76ers on Monday. They’ll then face the Lakers again on Wednesday Feb. 27 in LA. New Orleans will have to decide how much Davis plays over the 22 games that are left in their season. Should Davis sustain a major injury because the league pushed the Pelicans to play him, New Orleans wouldn’t be able to get nearly as much in return from a team looking to trade for him.