New Orleans -- On Thursday, New Orleans did not trade Anthony Davis, leaving the question of will they play him the rest of the season or sit him to avoid the possibility of him getting injured and lowering his trade value. Pelicans General Manager Dell Demps came out with a statement on the matter a few hours after the trade deadline passed, saying Davis will in fact play the remainder of the season. Demps’s statement also came after Davis was taken-off the injury report for Friday night’s game against the Timberwolves. It’s the first time in nearly three weeks that AD wasn’t listed on the report.
When asked after Friday's shootaround his thoughts on the Pelicans decision to continue playing Davis, Jrue Holiday said he was happy about it.
"That's his passion right?" Holiday responded. "That's why Anthony's here is to play basketball. He's obviously made it known that he won't sign back, but he still loves the game of basketball. I know that he loves us as players and he's going to go out there and play as hard as he can. If Anthony's out there, that's the best chance of us winning."
Most NBA players understand that this is a business and players get traded all the time, but you have to wonder how much they follow those transactions as they unfold-- particularly as the league was approaching their trade deadline. For Holiday, he said he didn’t know his team's intentions in regards to Davis's future before the deadline, and went about his day as normal with his family.
"I was not told that they weren't trading Anthony," Holiday said. "I also was not watching the clock. It was an off day and I have a daughter and a wife so we had our own little day date."
When asked if he checked-in with AD after the deadline passed, Holiday said he did not.
"I figured somebody would have told me or texted me if [a trade] would have happened,” Holiday said. “I didn't turn my phone completely off but if Anthony was gone, I know he would have been the first one to call me."
So onward the Pelicans go these final two months, with a roster that’s not too different from what they’ve been working with all season. They are minus two players to trades-- Nikola Mirotic (who missed 23 of 55 games because of injury) and Wesley Johnson (who played in less than half their games this season), and have added two players in trades-- Stanley Johnson and Jason Smith. And then there’s Anthony Davis, who is still a Pelican and will still be playing.
With 27 games remaining, the Pelicans (24-31) are five and a half games out of the 8th playoff spot with the third-worst record in the Western Conference. They are coming-off a win Wednesday, but have lost 9 of their last 13.