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Podcast: How the Hawks-Nets deal clears a path for the Lakers to trade for Anthony Davis

Brooklyn and Atlanta made a deal Thursday that started to make the picture surrounding Anthony Davis just a little clearer for the Lakers.

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NBA: Los Angeles Lakers at New Orleans Pelicans Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Literal minutes before we hit the record button on today’s “Locked on Lakers” with very little to actually talk about, the NBA trade gods opened the skies and dropped a fascinating deal right into our laps. In an effort to clear the books for this summer, the Brooklyn Nets used two first-round picks to send Allen Crabbe and his bloated contract to the Atlanta Hawks.

According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, Brooklyn has their sights set on Kyrie Irving — and Kevin Durant, but that’s not necessarily relevant to this topic — whose departure from the Boston Celtics would bring all kinds of potential ramifications.

Irving was supposed to keep Davis in Boston if Danny Ainge pulled off a trade. Irving can’t do such a thing so long as he is in Brooklyn while Davis plays in a city his camp has pretty clearly stated they aren’t interested in. Would Ainge put all his assets on the table even with no promise that Davis would stay beyond this season? Doesn’t feel likely. But who knows.

In sending those two first-rounders, the Nets also most likely took themselves out of contention for Davis. Maybe David Griffin is just that high on Rodions Kurucs, but a group of fairly nice young players doesn’t seem like a worthwhile return for one of the best players New Orleans will ever have.

Which brings us back to the Lakers. Their trade package is by no means perfect — Lonzo Ball has yet to play his 100th NBA game, Brandon Ingram is dealing with his blood clot concern and they hold the fourth pick in what is widely considered a three-player draft. But all they have to do is beat the next-best offer.

We’ve already talked about Brooklyn and Boston and their depreciated trade packages. The New York Knicks have the third pick in this year’s draft, but very little else. Kevin Knox was pretty dreadful last season, Dennis Smith Jr. is already a castoff in his own right, and while Mitchell Robinson seems promising enough, he’s a very replaceable prospect.

Now, you never know with these things. In recent memory, no superstar was traded to the team most directly tied to negotiations. Some mystery team has always popped up, but, seeing as that is impossible to predict, it’s hard to factor that into where the Lakers currently sit in all this. (By no means should they overplay this hand, though, as we’ve discussed before).

Pete and I discuss all of this in detail in today’s episode, and plenty more, including why it’s okay to be optimistic now, even while this offseason has been one kick to the nuts after the other.

You can listen to the entire episode below, and make sure to subscribe on iTunes, where you can also leave questions in the form of a five-star review to guarantee your topic makes the show.

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