Anthony Davis will be on the floor as the New Orleans Pelicans return from the All Star break, but team officials wouldn't commit to anything beyond that.
Davis won't be on a minutes restriction Friday, coach Alvin Gentry said, as the Pelicans face off with the Indiana Pacers on the road.
“Let’s get to that one,” Gentry said to the media Thursday afternoon, declining to elaborate on plans beyond that game.
Pels injury updates:— Nathan Brown (@nbrownadvocate) February 21, 2019
-AD not on a minutes restriction w/ shoulder. Will start Friday in Indy
-Elfrid Payton will be back & start
-E’Twaun Moore won’t play in back-to-backs. Uncertain whether he’ll miss tomorrow or Saturday
-Darius Miller dealing w/ ankle injury. Status uncertain
The news comes after weeks of turbulence surrounding Davis' demand for a trade from the Pelicans and revelation he would not sign a long-term in New Orleans. Davis has another year on his current contract and a player option for the 2020-21 season.
This is not integrity.
The public trade demand resulted in a $50,000 fine from the league and several days of furious rumors over trade possibilities. The Los Angeles Lakers, long rumored to be a preferred destination by Davis, made multiple offers that were not accepted by the Pelicans before the NBA's trade deadline.
The decision to wait until the offseason allows the Pelicans a chance to add the Boston Celtics to their list of teams they can negotiate with. The Celtics, who likely possess the largest array of talent and draft picks for the Pelicans to consider, are precluded from completing a trade for Davis as long as Kyrie Irving is under his current contract, which ends July 1.
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Once Davis was not moved before the deadline, the focus shifted to his availability for the remainder of the season. Davis said he intended to play after recovering from a hand injury that led him to miss nine games and the entirety of the Pelicans' late surrounding the deadline. Despite pressure to shut Davis down the rest of the season to mitigate injury risk, he returned Feb. 8 in the Pelicans' win over the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Reports indicated the NBA could suspend the Pelicans $100,000 per game Davis was a healthy scratch by invoking the league's rest rule, though that was disputed.
Davis played in four games leading up to the NBA's break for the All-Star game, leading to further controversy after he suffered a shoulder injury in the first half against the Oklahoma City Thunder and was seen leaving the arena early alongside his agent Rich Paul.
CHARLOTTE — Anthony Davis stepped to the podium in Charlotte, surrounded by more than 20 reporters and did something that surprised nearly everyone.
Longtime Pelicans General Manager Dell Demps was fired the following day. Ferry, the former GM for the Cleveland Cavaliers and Atlanta Hawks was named the interim GM later that day.
Davis, who was diagnosed with a contusion, suited up for the All-Star game on Sunday and scored five points in five minutes.
Check back for updates.