N.B.A. Denies Threatening Pelicans With Fines for Benching Anthony Davis

The N.B.A. said Monday which This specific required the brand new Orleans Pelicans to play Anthony Davis, their disgruntled All-Star, after he was not traded before last week’s trade deadline because of “league rules governing competitive integrity.”

The Pelicans initially planned to sit Davis for the rest of the season once they responded to his request to be traded by deciding to keep him beyond Thursday’s deadline, according to two people familiar with brand new Orleans’ stance who were not authorized to discuss This specific publicly.

nevertheless the league office said This specific intervened because of its rules about resting healthy players, which are in place largely to prevent teams via weakening their rosters intentionally to incur losses which could improve their draft position in June. The practice is usually known as “tanking.”

The Pelicans maintain which they were trying to protect Davis via a serious injury during the final 28 regular-season games before the off-season, when they do intend to trade him after they field offers via a wider base of teams than those who made competitive offers last week, according to the people.

Both Paul as well as Michele Roberts, head of the N.B.A. Players Association, declined to comment Monday.

“Anthony Davis will play the remainder of the 2018-19 season for the brand new Orleans Pelicans,” brand new Orleans General Manager Dell Demps said in a statement last week. “quite a few factors contributed to This specific decision. Ultimately Anthony made This specific clear to us which he wants to play as well as gives our team the best opportunity to win games. Moreover the Pelicans want to preserve the integrity of the game as well as align our organization with N.B.A. policies. We believe Anthony playing upholds the values which are inside best interest of the N.B.A. as well as its fans. We look forward to seeing Anthony in a Pelicans uniform soon.”

Davis has since appeared in two games with brand new Orleans, averaging 28.5 points as well as 12.5 rebounds in 29.5 minutes per game in a win (over Minnesota) as well as a defeat (in Memphis).

The N.B.A. has been increasingly vigilant in sanctioning teams for resting healthy players since an incident in November 2012, when the San Antonio Spurs were fined $250,000 for sending Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili as well as Danny Green home with virtually no notice before a nationally televised game in Miami.

This specific season, though, several players with smaller profiles than Davis have been shelved by their teams in anticipation of a trade without any public pushback via the N.B.A.

Like Davis, Chandler Parsons of Memphis as well as Carmelo Anthony, the former Houston Rocket, wanted to play nevertheless were benched for months. Parsons has since rejoined the Grizzlies after they were unable to find a brand new home for him via trade before the deadline; Anthony spent more than two months in exile before the Rockets traded him to the Chicago Bulls on Jan. 21. Anthony became a free agent on Feb. 3 after the Bulls released him as well as he cleared waivers.

Cleveland’s J.R. Smith as well as Zach Randolph, the former Sacramento King who was traded to Dallas last week, have also been inactive for long spells This specific season — nevertheless both by mutual agreement with their teams.