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Eastern conference contenders upgrade; Davis stays put

The Associated Press

The Grizzlies’ Marc Gasol, left, drives against the Knicks’ DeAndre Jordan on Sunday.

The Associated PressToronto, Milwaukee and Philadelphia made their moves. Anthony Davis will have to wait until the summer for his.

The New Orleans Pelicans held onto Davis but dealt Nikola Mirotic to the Bucks, one of the Eastern Conference contenders who fortified their teams Thursday before the NBA trade deadline.

The Raptors are getting former All-Star center Marc Gasol from Memphis. The 76ers, a day after acquiring forward Tobias Harris from the Clippers, sent Markelle Fultz to Orlando and will hope Jonathan Simmons can provide some production where the former No. 1 pick couldn’t.

“Those teams were already really good. And the assumption would only be that they’d only benefit from those moves,” Boston coach Brad Stevens said. “It will be quite a challenge. As we knew it would be.”

All the trades were confirmed to The Associated Press by people with knowledge of the details because they couldn’t be announced before they were approved by the NBA.

A busy swap season that included Dallas’ acquisition of Kristaps Porzingis from New York ended without a move for Davis, the player who dominated the discussion in recent weeks. The Pelicans didn’t find a deal for Davis, who had requested a trade and informed the team he wouldn’t sign a contract extension this summer.

But the Lakers couldn’t put together a strong enough package to the Pelicans’ liking for the All-Star forward, who will go back into the trade market after the season ends. There will be other marquee names available then with a free agent class that could be highlighted by players such as Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and Kawhi Leonard.

Boston didn’t jump into the trading deadline fray but may try to get involved in the summer.

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