Davis missed the Pelicans' last nine games before returning vs. the Timberwolves.
After getting held out of the last two games with trade rumors circulating, Anthony Davis returned to the Pelicans' lineup on Friday night in New Orleans' 122–117 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Davis posted 32 points, nine boards and three blocks through 25 minutes played–despite being booed by his own fans during his introduction. The seven-year veteran then sat the entire fourth quarter.
Davis and the Pelicans reportedly agreed this week that he would continue to play for the remainder of the season, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski added.
New Orleans was reportedly concerned about Davis possibly getting injured and losing value on the trade market, the NBA threatened the team with the league's rest rule–put in place in 2017 to restrict teams from resting healthy players–and threatened the Pelicans with a $100,000 fine per game if Davis were benched, per Wojnarowski.
The team ultimately decided to put Davis back on the floor, which matched the player's own wishes.
Davis missed seven games due to a left index finger injury, but despite getting healthy, the team left him off the court as it discussed a potential trade for the six-time All-Star. However, the team was unable to make a deal by Thursday's trade deadline.
With Davis still expected to be traded this offseason, there was speculation about how the Pelicans would go about playing him for the rest of the season. Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports previously reported the team was seriously considering shutting Davis down "to an extent" after the All-Star Break.
Davis has played in 42 games so far this season and is averaging 29.3 points, 13.3 rebounds, 4.4 assists, 2.6 blocks and 1.4 steals while shooting 50.8% from the field.
New Orleans is currently 25–31 on the season.