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BC-BKN--NBA Trades,1st Ld-Writethru

February 7, 2019
AP Basketball Writer

MIAMI (AP) — Anthony Davis is still a member of the New Orleans Pelicans.

By 3 p.m. Thursday, that may change.

Davis remained in place Wednesday, though the run-up to the NBA’s annual trade deadline picked up steam in plenty of other locales around the league. The first notable deal of Trade Deadline Eve got done early Wednesday afternoon when the Los Angeles Clippers moved Tobias Harris to the Philadelphia 76ers as the centerpiece of a six-person, four-draft-pick swapping.

Harris, Boban Marjanovic and Mike Scott went to the 76ers, while Wilson Chandler, Mike Muscala and Landry Shamet went to the Clippers. Philadelphia — with an eye on moving way up from the No. 5 spot in the Eastern Conference — also gave up a protected 2020 first-round pick, a 2021 first-rounder that was once owned by Miami, and second-rounders in 2021 and 2023 through Detroit.

“We are in the unique position to contend now and we think this trade positions us well for the postseason,” 76ers general manager Elton Brand said. “Tobias is one of the best three-point shooters in the NBA and possesses an innate ability to impact the game on both ends of the floor, while Boban and Mike provide valuable skillsets, size and depth to our team.”

Another deal was worked out between Miami and Phoenix. The Heat sent Tyler Johnson and Wayne Ellington to the Suns for Ryan Anderson, helping alleviate the logjam of guards that Miami coach Erik Spoelstra has been dealing with all season — plus considerably lower the Heat’s expected luxury tax bill. It’s likely that Ellington will be a buyout candidate, and therefore would be able to pick his own spot to finish the season.

Meanwhile, Davis remained in place and out of uniform.

The Pelicans haven’t played him since he and agent Rich Paul went public last week with their trade request, and decided not to play the six-time All-Star in Chicago on Wednesday either. The reasons for that were obvious; in case a deal can be made, it’s not worth it for the Pelicans to risk an injury.

“It’s going to eventually get resolved,” Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry said.

There will be resolution — maybe just partial resolution, but resolution nonetheless — when the deadline arrives Thursday afternoon. Davis is still under contract for next season, so the Pelicans are in a slippery spot where they don’t need to deal their best player now for fear of losing him in July for nothing but also know that he doesn’t want to remain in New Orleans.

If the Pelicans don’t trade Davis by Thursday, they’ll almost certainly be back in the depths of trade talks in June and July — draft time and free agency.

“I mean, obviously, it’s on everyone’s mind,” Gentry said. “But we just try to put it on the back burner and focus on the task at hand and that’s playing the Chicago Bulls. Not anything we can do about it. ... I think everything kind of clears up after (Thursday), at least for a while. And you can go back to I guess normal, or whatever our new normal is going to be.”

In other trades Wednesday:

— A person familiar with the terms said NBA-leading Milwaukee was sending center Thon Maker to the Detroit Pistons for forward Stanley Johnson. Both were lottery picks, Johnson in 2015 and Maker a year later. That trade was also pending the NBA reviewing the financial terms and approving, which is required for any deal to become final.

— The Los Angeles Lakers — one of the teams known to want Davis — made another deal, getting Reggie Bullock from the Detroit Pistons for rookie guard Svi Mykhailiuk. Bullock is a shooter, and Lakers star LeBron James loves surrounding himself with those. Bullock is making nearly 39 percent of his 3-point tries this season. Mykhailiuk has averaged 3.3 points in 39 appearances.

— Philadelphia swung a deal with Toronto, getting Malachi Richardson and some draft considerations for cash. Richardson appeared in 23 games during two seasons with the Raptors.

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