Anthony Davis emerges as vocal leader for Pelicans

is only a year removed from college and won't turn 21 until the second half of the 2013-14 season. So perhaps you couldn't fault him much if he were still apprehensive about taking on a significant leadership role with the .

usab_logo_186x220.jpgThe thing is, though, Davis is a No. 1 overall draft pick, bearing the lofty expectations that automatically come with that distinction. After a recent offseason overhaul by New Orleans, Davis is also now the fourth-longest tenured Pelican. The only New Orleans players who've been with the franchise longer are Jason Smith, Eric Gordon and Al-Farouq Aminu. In addition, the team's oldest roster member, free-agent center Greg Stiemsma, is just seven years older than Davis. All but four Pelicans are 25 or under.

If you combine all of those factors, it appears to be an opportune time for the 6-foot-10 power forward to make the conscious decision to become more vocal around his teammates. It's a version of Davis that's been evident over the past two weeks in Las Vegas. During summer league, the second-year pro became an extra assistant coach, counseling Pelicans players and lending some of his on- and off-the-court advice.

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