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Ryan Anderson, Pelicans happy team kept intact

NEW ORLEANS, La. -- Ryan Anderson said he wasn’t aware when the buzzer sounded on Thursday’s NBA trade deadline. As part of the Pelicans' contingent that traveled to Oklahoma City for the funeral of Ingrid Williams, wife of former New Orleans head coach Monty Williams, Anderson said he had turned off his phone.

“During the ceremony and during the reception my phone was off,” Anderson said Friday morning. “Obviously that was more important yesterday.”

Anderson, an unrestricted free agent this summer, had come up often in trade rumors leading into Thursday. The Pelicans had discussions up to about 10 minutes before the 3 p.m. ET deadline, according to ESPN’s Marc Stein, but ultimately kept every player that started the day on the roster.

The one player the Pelicans did trade for, D-Leaguer extraordinaire Jarnell Stokes, was waived Friday morning to make room for Bryce Dejean-Jones, who signed an agreement with the Pelicans after two 10-day contracts. The deal is for three years with a partial guarantee in the second year, according to Yahoo! Sport's The Vertical.

Anderson, among others, was happy to keep the team intact.

“It feels good,” he said. “It feels really good to have it over with. Obviously, trade deadlines you can’t help but be aware of the clock. Your future’s not necessarily in your hands, so it’s definitely good to have some peace about it. I’m happy to be here.

“I think that there was just so much online, so much hype, and I’m just glad to sort of avoid it and stay the course, stay the track. I’m happy to be with these guys.”

The Pelicans come out of the All-Star break 20-33 and six games back of a playoff spot in the Western Conference. As of Friday morning, they have a 1.8 percent chance of making the postseason, according to ESPN’s Basketball Power Index.

“We believe in this team,” Anthony Davis said. “Everybody on this team believes in everything we do: our schemes, our systems. Players, coaching staff. This last 29 games, we want to finish out strongly, try to be the best team in the league this last 29. We’ve got the firepower to do so even though guys are hurt. But we’re very confident with what we have.”

Jrue Holiday said Friday morning’s shootaround ahead of the Pelicans’ matchup with the Philadelphia 76ers felt like just another day, but the events of Thursday will linger on for Anderson.

“I don’t know if you guys got to see what [Monty Williams] said. … It was just amazing,” Anderson said in regard to the speech Williams gave in Oklahoma City. “He’s just the most amazing guy I know. And that was the most important thing [yesterday]: to be there and support him, be with his family. That was one of the most impressive, amazing … just to be in there in the presence of something like that, I’ll never forget it. Very memorable.”