The New Orleans Pelicans weren’t able to find a suitor for Anthony Davis before the NBA’s trade deadline came and went on Thursday afternoon, meaning for at least the next few months, the superstar big man will continue to take the floor for the only team he’s ever played for in his professional career. It wasn’t guaranteed that he’d keep playing, though, but that situation seemed to resolve itself on Thursday night.
According to Brian Windhorst of ESPN, the NBA caught wind of the Pelicans considering holding a healthy Davis out and decided to issue an ultimatum. Windhorst mentioned on The Jump that the NBA floated the idea of a $100,000 fine in the event Davis was a healthy scratch with an eye on keeping his trade value high.
“The league office did get involved and they informed the Pelicans that if they did sit a healthy Anthony Davis, they would be subject to potential game-by-game fines for the rest of the season,” Windhorst said, before getting prompted by Rachel Nichols to reveal that it was, indeed, a fine for $100,000. Windhorst also mentioned that the Pelicans want to do the “ethical thing” by playing Davis, but do plan on holding him out of back-to-backs and potentially will reduce his minutes.
It’s a tricky situation for the Pelicans to navigate — Davis has given the organization so much and to sit him would look really bad, plus potentially forking over $2.7 million by holding him out for each of the next 27 games is a steep, steep fine. On the other hand, Davis did ask for a trade, and seeing as how he has a history of getting injured, $2.7 million isn’t too tough of a pill to swallow compared to what could happen if he suffers a serious knock that leads to his trade value tanking.