Pelicans to ‘re-engage’ NBA about order to play Anthony Davis, report says

The Pelicans “intend to re-engage the NBA” about the league’s stance that Anthony Davis must play if healthy, risking an injury that could devalue him on the trade market, The New York Times reported.

It’s a ticklish situation, more fallout from the Pelicans’ inability to move the big man at the trade deadline. Allowing Davis to play — and risking injury — apparently was the final straw for team owner Gayle Benson, who reportedly was livid with GM Dell Demps after Davis suffered a shoulder injury Feb. 14 against the Thunder (it turned out to be only a bruise). The next day she fired Demps and Danny Ferry stepped in on an interim basis.

“It’s a very unhealthy situation for the team and, frankly, for Anthony as well,” commissioner Adam Silver said over All-Star Weekend.

Now, according to The Times, Ferry will seek to get NBA officials to “rethink their stance” about forcing the Pelicans to play Davis.

Per the Times’ Marc Stein:

There were strong signals in Charlotte that the Pelicans — with Danny Ferry now serving as their acting general manager in the wake of Friday’s firing of Dell Demps — intend to re-engage the N.B.A. this week in hopes of convincing league officials to rethink their stance about forcing them to play Davis.

The N.B.A. Players Association would presumably get involved if New Orleans is successful, but I’d advise the Pelicans to hold firm. Take any fine that comes. The team has played better, scrappier ball without Davis anyway — and heaven forbid he suffers a serious injury in the regular season’s dog days.

This much is clear: It’s not a good look for the league, the team or the player. And Davis, who has demanded a trade, won’t be a Pelican come July.

Meantime, despite Davis’ claim he never said the Celtics weren’t on his list of potential destinations, The Athletic reported Tuesday that Boston is “still not a long-term destination for him in his mind.”

Teams including the Celtics, Lakers, Bucks and Clippers are expected to consider the best packages they have to offer to land Davis this summer, some perhaps with no guarantee that he will sign an extension past when his current contract runs out after the 2019-20 season.

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