With trade rumors swirling around him on a daily basis since it was confirmed that he won’t be re-signing with the New Orleans Pelicans when his contract comes up, Anthony Davis has been out of action for almost two weeks due to a sprained left index finger. And if the latest rumors are to be believed, Davis might not suit up for the rest of the 2018-19 season in the event he isn’t sent to another team before the NBA’s trade deadline next Thursday.
On Wednesday night, New York Times NBA reporter Marc Stein took to Twitter for a new update on Davis’ situation, which suggested that the Pelicans have yet to decide whether they will be shutting down the 25-year-old All-NBA big man for the rest of the season. However, Stein’s source added that these plans are “under consideration” and might push forward if Davis isn’t moved by the trade deadline.
According to Bleacher Report, there are reasons why the New Orleans Pelicans are considering deactivating Anthony Davis and shutting him down for the year. With key players Nikola Mirotic, Julius Randle, E’Twaun Moore, and Elfrid Payton also sidelined with injuries, per Yahoo Sports, the Pelicans dropped to 23-29 after their loss to the Denver Nuggets on Wednesday. That puts them at 13th place in the Western Conference and even further removed from playoff contention.
Furthermore, Bleacher Report added that Davis’ injury history could convince New Orleans to bench him, rather than put him at the risk of injury by having him play “meaningless” games, while also reducing their chances of securing a good position in the 2019 draft lottery.
“There’s no logical reason for the Pelicans to continue playing Davis if he remains in New Orleans beyond the trade deadline,” Bleacher Report’s Tyler Conway wrote.
“Since they’ll be heading for a rebuild, getting as many ping-pong balls in the lottery as possible should be their top priority. Winning the Zion Williamson lottery would be a huge step in the Pelicans’ rebuilding process, and Davis being on the floor lowers their chances of losing games.”
Pelicans GM Dell Demps is reportedly “not picking up his phone” for trade calls on Anthony Davis https://t.co/JK1fxHOCga
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) January 30, 2019
So far, Anthony Davis has not lacked for rumored suitors since the Pelicans announced that he was seeking a trade and not planning to re-sign with the team. While the Los Angeles Lakers, Boston Celtics, and New York Knicks have widely been considered among the teams most likely to successfully trade for Davis, reports have pointed to a few “dark horses” who could also make a move for the superstar forward/center.
On Tuesday, ESPN’s Tim Bontemps suggested that the Toronto Raptors could trade youngsters OG Anunoby and Pascal Siakam and either one of two veteran big men – Serge Ibaka or Jonas Valanciunas – to acquire Davis and have him play alongside Kawhi Leonard and Kyle Lowry. While he did not bring up any potential trade packages, Basketball Insiders’ Steve Kyler also reported on Tuesday that the Portland Trail Blazers might have what it takes to trade for Davis and team him up with their star backcourt duo of Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum.