Leverage was nearly nonexistent to begin with. Anderson will be a free agent at the end of this season and, thus, is a potential flight risk—something teams must consider before opening their asset stable in negotiations. But suitors do have the rest of the season to sway him on their house and turn his foray onto the open market into a non-issue.
Only, per Yahoo Sports’ Marc J. Spears, that’s not going to happen:
For any NBA team interested in trading for Pelicans Ryan Anderson, source said he's very interested in exploring FA so he'd be only a rental
— Marc J. Spears (@SpearsNBAYahoo) February 15, 2016
This is a pretty good move by Anderson. For one, it allows him to control public perception of what happens next. Players who become rentals are sometimes chastised for leaving a team high and dry, but he’s now made it clear he intends to surf the open market.
Mostly, though, Ryan Anderson has the opportunity to continue padding his stats in New Orleans, which, in turn, drums up his market value this summer.
If he gets traded to, say, the Washington Wizards or Houston Rockets or another fringe playoff team or actual contender, he won’t enjoy the same number of touches or even the same amount of playing time. New Orleans isn’t going anywhere this season, but it’s a familiar environment that allows him to maximize his earning potential ahead of the offseason’s unprecedented salary-cap explosion.