Pelicans plan to limit Anthony Davis’ playing time to 20-25 minutes per game moving forward
Interim general manager Danny Ferry has announced that the team will reduce Davis’ playing time down to 20-25 minutes each game. This comes after the Pelicans have been informed by the NBA that they’ll be fined if they sit Davis out when he’s healthy. via ESPN:
The tentative plan is to play Davis 20-25 minutes a game, Ferry said. Davis is averaging 36 minutes per game this season. He’s played as many as 34 and as little as 15 — when he left early because of a shoulder injury — in games since returning to the lineup following his trade demand.
During the All-Star break, the Pelicans fired GM Dell Demps and replaced him with Ferry. After the change, there were discussions between Davis and the team about altering the plan for him to continue playing every game, sources said.
But Ferry said Thursday the Pelicans will continue to abide by league rules that require teams to not rest stars who are healthy. Not playing Davis when healthy would subject the Pelicans to fines of up to $100,000 per game under NBA rules.
It’s no secret that the Pelicans, back in action on Friday against the Pacers (7 p.m. ET — watch on fuboTV with the NBA League Pass extension), attempted to trade Davis prior to the trade deadline, but were unable to strike a deal with the Los Angeles Lakers or any other team. Now the summer represents the next time that New Orleans can ship Davis out of town after he made it clear that he won’t sign a contract extension with the franchise.
Ferry took over as general manager for New Orleans after Dell Demps was relieved of his duties last week. Demps was let go as the frustration within the franchise’s ownership reached a boiling point after Davis left the arena with a shoulder injury against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Feb. 14.
It appears that the Pelicans would like to play Davis a whole lot less following the All-Star break and prevent any further injuries. It’s also possible that New Orleans would love to send Davis home and keep his high trade value intact with the offseason being just a few months away.
In a tumultuous season, Davis has still put together averages of 28.1 points, 12.9 rebounds, and 2.5 blocks while shooting 50.8 percent from the field. Prior to the All-Star break, Davis scored 14 points or less in three of the four contests and only played five minutes for Team LeBron in the All-Star Game.
On Thursday, Pelicans head coach Alvin Gentry did reveal that Davis will play in Friday’s game against the Indiana Pacers. It’ll be interesting to see if Davis hovers above that 20-25 minute mark very often because he was playing 36 minutes per contest before the trade demands were made public.