ESPN’s Brian Windhorst reported last week that the Pelicans were told by the NBA that they’d be subject to fines of $100K per game if they sit a healthy Anthony Davis for the rest of the season, but league spokesperson Mike Bass suggested today that that’s not quite right, according to Marc Stein of The New York Times (Twitter links).
“The NBA did not tell New Orleans that it would be fined $100K per game if Anthony Davis were held out for the remainder of [the] season,” Bass said in a statement to Stein. “The Pelicans were advised that the team had not identified a proper basis for making that determination at this time and league rules governing competitive integrity therefore require that he be permitted to play.”
It seems clear that the Pelicans will face penalties if they elect to sit Davis and ensure that he’s healthy in advance of summer trade talks, and the league’s approach to the issue has been the subject of plenty of debate among NBA observers.
Several other teams, including the Rockets (Carmelo Anthony), Cavaliers (J.R. Smith), and Grizzlies (Chandler Parsons) have held out healthy players for much of the season, not even requiring those players to be with the team, and they haven’t faced any sort of discipline from the NBA, as Stein tweets. Of course, those players don’t have nearly the same on-court impact that Davis has — the Pelicans can’t make the case that they’re better off without AD, whereas perhaps those teams could have made that case with regard to their exiled players.
On the other hand, Davis and his representatives were fined by the league for making a public trade request, and it’s probably in the Pelicans’ best long-term interests to sit the All-NBA big man to protect their trade asset and to improve their spot in the draft lottery, writes Michael McCann of Sports Illustrated. You could make the case that the Pelicans should be allowed to run their team as they wish, given the unusual circumstances surrounding Davis and the franchise.
As we wait to see how the AD saga plays out, let’s round up some odds and ends from around the basketball world…
- While players who were released at the trade deadline are generating the most speculation at the moment, keep an eye on Eric Moreland, tweets Michael Scotto of The Athletic. According to Scott, Moreland – who was waived by Phoenix last month – is on NBA teams’ radars.
- It got lost amidst last week’s trade deadline madness, but journeyman guard Briante Weber has landed in the EuroLeague, inking a contract with Greece’s Olympiacos. Nikos Varlas of Eurohoops first reported that Weber was nearing an agreement with Olympiacos, while Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel (Twitter link) confirmed that a deal was in place.
- Free agent big man Jarnell Stokes, who last played in the NBA in 2016/17 for Denver, has reached an agreement with the Xinjiang Flying Tigers in China, according to Emiliano Carchia of Sportando. We reported at the end of January that Stokes was drawing interest from Chinese clubs.
- Longtime NBA guard Carlos Arroyo, who played in 569 total regular season games for seven teams, has joined the BIG3 draft pool for the 2019 season, the league announced today (via Twitter). The BIG3 has slowly been revealing the new additions to its player pool for ’19, as we noted last week.