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Anthony Davis won’t play vs. Bulls as NBA trade deadline looms

New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis, left, talks with Indiana Pacers guard Tyreke Evans after an NBA basketball game in New Orleans, Monday, Feb. 4, 2019. The Pacers won 109-107. | Gerald Herbert/Associated Press

Although big man Anthony Davis is available to play Wednesday night against the Bulls, Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry said he won’t.

One can probably assume why.

Davis set the NBA world in a frenzy last week when his camp revealed he didn’t plan to sign a contract extension with the Pelicans and would prefer to be dealt. After morning shootaround at the United Center, Gentry said the Pelicans won’t play Davis, who has been out with a sprained left index finger since Jan. 18, until after Thursday’s 2 p.m. trade deadline.

Gentry admitted that the trade rumors surrounding Davis have been distracting but he’s trying to keep his team’s blinders up.

“Obviously it’s on everyone’s mind,” he said. “But we just try to put it on the back burner and try to focus on the task at hand and that’s playing the Chicago Bulls. There’s not anything we can do about it.”

Is Gentry just eager to get through the next 24 hours?

“That might be the understatement of the year,” he said. “Everything kind of clears up after that at least for a while, and you can go back to what I guess whatever our new normal is going to be.

“[The rumor mill is] just part of it. It’s part of the business and you deal with it just like you would anything else.”

Tip-off between the Bulls and Pelicans at the United Center is scheduled for 7 p.m.