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Pelicans interim GM: Anthony Davis will see a minutes reduction

New Orleans Pelicans interim general manager Danny Ferry addressed the media Thursday and said the plan is to have Anthony Davis see a minutes reduction, per The Advocate’s Scott Kushner. Jrue Holiday is expected to lose some playing time as well.

“You will see a reduction in Anthony’s minutes,” Ferry said. “You’ll probably see Jrue’s minutes come down because his minutes have been so high all year. But it probably won’t be quite as dramatic.”

Ferry indicated the decision to limit the minutes played by Davis stems from the Pelicans choosing to focus upon the future.

Ferry said the approach has the full support of Pelicans owner Gayle Benson and executive vice president of basketball operations Mickey Loomis, and that the goal is to develop the team’s young players who are expected to be with the team in coming seasons.

The Pelicans were said to be planning on sitting Davis the rest of the season to preserve his trade value by avoiding an increased injury risk. The NBA reportedly informed the Pelicans that the organization would be fined $100,000 for each game Anthony was sat, although the league has since denied making that specific threat.

Ferry mentioned the NBA’s alleged stance on the Pelicans’ need to play Davis in his comments Thursday. The NBA noted as much when stating that Davis could not be held out of games in order to preserve “league rules governing competitive integrity.” In other words, to avoid the perception the Pelicans were tanking.

“The league rules made it clear Anthony has to play,” Ferry said. “As we’ve done previously, we will continue to follow their lead but we also be focused on the future of the team.”

Ferry insisted the team is not tanking and that Benson is committed to improving the organization.

The situation confronting the Pelicans in light of Davis’ public trade demand — and the team’s inability or refusal to deal him ahead of the deadline — is without question an awkward one, if not unprecedented.

It appears the team will attempt to walk a fine line between maintaining Davis’ health by limiting his minutes and running afoul of the league office by doing so.