The Anthony Davis saga doesn’t look like it will come to an end anytime soon.

One day after Davis was removed from the team’s pregame hype video, ESPN reported the New Orleans Pelicans are “prepared to play the long game” with Davis in a battle that could drag out until the summer.

ESPN also reported that Pelicans General Manager Dell Demps isn’t returning the phone calls of Lakers GM Rob Pelinka, sending a message that the Pelicans aren’t interested in sending Davis to Los Angeles right away.

It appears Davis’ intentions are to ultimately play for the Lakers, and teams are getting the sense that any trade for Davis in the offseason will be a one-year rental before Davis hits free agency in the summer of 2020, the report says.

However, Boston, which cannot trade for Davis until the summer because of the way his and Kyrie Irving’s contracts are constructed, is willing to go all-in and make a push for Davis without the assurance of him signing long-term.

The Celtics don’t think Davis would walk away from a core with Irving, who can resign with Boston in the summer after opting out of the last year of his deal.

Boston could offer Jayson Tatum – although the preference would be to hold on to him to build with Davis and Irving – Jaylen Brown, Marcus Smart and any number of picks. The Celtics hold their own first-round pick in 2019 draft, Sacramento’s first-round pick if it falls between No. 2-30, the Clippers’ lottery-protected first-round pick, and Memphis’ top-eight protected pick.

The Memphis pick is top-6 protected in 2020 if it doesn’t go to the Celtics this year and becomes unprotected in 2021.

n Davis was one of the 14 players announced Thursday as reserves for the All-Star Game in Charlotte on Feb. 17.

The other Western Conference reserves are Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook, Denver’s Nikola Jokic, Portland’s Damian Lillard, Golden State’s Klay Thompson, San Antonio’s LaMarcus Aldridge and Minnesota’s Karl-Anthony Towns.

Indiana’s Victor Oladipo was selected as one of the Eastern Conference reserves, even though his season is over because of injury. The other reserves from the East are Toronto’s Kyle Lowry, Milwaukee’s Khris Middleton, Philadelphia’s Ben Simmons, Washington’s Bradley Beal, Detroit’s Blake Griffin and Orlando’s Nikola Vucevic.

KNICKS: New York traded Kristaps Porzingis to the Dallas Mavericks, parting with the young All-Star forward as he recovers from a torn knee ligament.

The Knicks acquired Dennis Smith Jr., DeAndre Jordan, Wesley Matthews and two first-round picks, while also sending guards Tim Hardaway Jr., Trey Burke and Courtney Lee to Dallas.

The Knicks made the surprising move after saying Porzingis requested a trade.

LAKERS: LeBron James returned to the lineup after the longest injury-related absence of his 16-year career.

James played Thursday night against the Los Angeles Clippers after being out for nearly five weeks. The Lakers went 6-11 during his absence.

THURSDAY’S GAMES

PISTONS 93, MAVERICKS 89: Andre Drummond had 24 points and 20 rebounds, and Detroit rallied at home from a nine-point deficit in the fourth quarter to beat the short-handed Dallas.

MAGIC 107, PACERS 100: Terrence Ross scored 13 of his 30 points in the fourth quarter and Orlando handed visiting Indiana its fourth straight loss.


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