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Anthony Davis will play rest of season for Pelicans

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Anthony Davis will remain with the New Orleans Pelicans through the rest of the season after the team did not make a deal to trade the star before Thursday’s trade deadline.

After Davis requested a trade earlier this month and told the Pelicans that he would not re-sign with the team and become a free agent in 2020, many speculated the team would sit Davis to preserve not only his health, but also his value as a trade asset.

Despite his trade request and making his intentions to leave New Orleans clear, Anthony Davis will not sit out the rest of the season. (AP/Gerald Herbert)

Now — even though the Pelicans are expected to trade Davis this summer — New Orleans is planning to reincorporate Davis into the lineup, the team announced on Thursday night.

Davis has said he wants to play this season, which is a big factor, but the NBA office was apparently concerned about a healthy star being forced to sit out, too, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

“Anthony Davis will play the remainder of the 2018-19 season for the New Orleans Pelicans,” Pelicans manager Dell Demps said in a statement. “A number of factors contributed to this decision. Ultimately, Anthony made it clear to us that he wants to play and he gives our team the best opportunity to win games. Moreover, the Pelicans want to preserve the integrity of the game and align our organization with NBA policies. We believe Anthony playing upholds the values that are in the best interest of the NBA and its fans. We look forward to seeing Anthony in a Pelicans uniform again soon.”

Davis has missed nine games after a finger injury, however has been cleared to practice again this week. He reportedly wanted to play on Monday night in their matchup against the Indiana Pacers, but the front office prevented him from doing so.

The 25-year-old has averaged 29.3 points and 13.3 rebounds in 41 games this season. While his return to the court will undoubtedly help New Orleans, the Pelicans currently hold a 24-31 record — the third-worst in the Western Conference.

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