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Report: Pelicans made aware of ‘handful’ of teams Anthony Davis would re-sign with

Cleveland Cavaliers v New Orleans Pelicans

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - JANUARY 09: Anthony Davis #23 of the New Orleans Pelicans looks on during the game against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Smoothie King Center on January 09, 2019 in New Orleans, Louisiana. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

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Anthony Davis reportedly put out word he’d re-sign with only the Lakers.

But maybe his list is growing.

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

The Pelicans are incentivized to leak this. They want everyone to believe they have numerous suitors for Davis. Teams that would get Davis to re-sign would obviously be more interested in trading for him. And competition breeds better offer for New Orleans.

Whether Davis would actually pledge to re-sign with several different teams is another matter.

The Pelicans’ biggest threat to teams trying to trade for Davis now was the possibility of a huge Celtics offer next summer. But Davis is reportedly concerned about Kyrie Irving bolting Boston, and Irving sure didn’t squelch rumors about leaving. Davis’ father also said he didn’t want his son to join the Celtics after how they treated Isaiah Thomas.

Simply, there is less concern Boston will push all its top assets into a trade for Davis next offseason. Which hurts the Pelicans’ negotiating position. So, maybe they’re trying to improve their leverage through this leak.

Davis could pour cold water on this by communicating his intent to interested teams. But it’s not viable for him to sign a contract extension. Whichever team has him after the 2020 trade deadline will no choice but to enter free agency that year with his Bird Rights and hope for the best. So, there will inevitably be some uncertainty.

Maybe New Orleans is trying to exploit that to get better offers.