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New Orleans Pelicans playoff odds and retaining Anthony Davis past upcoming summer might hinge on hand specialist visit

Can the Pels catch a good break?

New Orleans Pelicans v Golden State Warriors Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

According to Shams Charania of the Athletic yesterday, Anthony Davis will soon visit a hand specialist and there’s strong concern he could miss more time than the initially estimated one-to-two week time frame.

There’s little precedent to go by in the case of volar plate avulsion injuries according to Jeff Stotts of In Street Clothes. His research reveals that only Kobe Bryant suffered a similar injury once, but the damaged finger in question for the Lakers superstar was a pinky — not an index finger as in the case of Davis.

During the 2007-08 season, Los Angeles Laker guard and former MVP Kobe Bryant suffered a volar plate tear of his right pinkie. Surgery was recommended but Kobe initially delayed going under the knife to avoid missing playing time. The 2008 Beijing Olympics forced Kobe to once again push back the procedure. However, he opted to forgo the operation completely prior to the 2008-09 season when doctors suggested the recovery could take up to 12 weeks. As a result, Bryant did not miss any time.

Although the injury is to his non-shooting hand, one should assume it would still greatly affect nearly all other facets of a basketball game for Davis: from rebounding to defending to dribbling to catching a simple pass. Thus, it’s incredibly unlikely that he could play through the injury until the finger is fully healed.

Stott’s also notes that if surgery is deemed necessary, this injury could extend the recovery time frame past four weeks.

With the trade deadline a mere 15 days away, it’ll be interesting to see how the New Orleans front office reacts to the impending news. Will they decide to become sellers rather than buyers if worst fears are realized? Or, is it full steam ahead in hopes that the rest of the team and any new additions to the roster can keep the Pelicans heads above the water in the Western Conference playoff race, and once Davis does return, he’ll be able to give New Orleans that final push to the finish line?

To be honest, we should fully expect the front office to jump on the best deal they can find in a last ditch effort to prove to Davis that he should stay with New Orleans for at least past this summer — in essence, give the Pelicans a chance to come out of the gates strongly next season with an improved core.

Could this line of thinking prove a costly mistake down the road?

Yes, absolutely, but what choice does Dell Demps have if Davis or his representation has yet to make New Orleans aware of the star’s future plans?