Hawks fans should be rooting for the Lakers’ turmoil

NBA: MAR 24 Pacers at Lakers

The Hawks have made two of the biggest moves of the NBA offseason, drafting Zaccharie Risacher with the No. 1 overall pick and trading Dejounte Murray to the Pelicans.

After about a week of drama surrounding Alex Sarr, Atlanta eventually went in a completely different direction with Risacher. Shortly after, Landry Fields made the decision to build around Trae Young and move Murray.

The deal netted Larry Nance Jr., Dyson Daniels, E.J. Liddell, the Lakers’ 2025 first-round pick, and a 2027 first-round pick (least favorable of Milwaukee/New Orleans).

While Daniels is the piece that most Hawks fans are talking about, and Nance will make an immediate impact if he’s not moved, my eye is on the Lakers first-rounder next year.

Laker Land hasn’t exactly had much to cheer about this offseason. The Lakers were rumored to be interested in Dejounte Murray, Klay Thompson, Chris Paul, and Jonas Valančiūnas but missed out on all four.

Moreover, the available “stars” that LeBron James, I mean Rob Pelinka, would be interested in are Brandon Ingram, Zach LaVine, Donovan Mitchell, Trae Young, Karl-Anthony Towns, Lauri Markkanen, and potentially others. But the Lakers either don’t have enough capital to make a deal or those respective clubs aren’t trading those players.

The fact is the Lakers are stuck between a rock and a hard place. They’re trying to maximize the present roster, which is a very average one compared to the rest of the Western Conference, without much to sacrifice in terms of future assets.

Moreover, Los Angeles has to pray that LeBron James and Anthony Davis stay healthy, and even that may not be enough. AD just played in more games last year (76 games) than ever before, and LeBron played in a vast majority of them as well, and the Lakers hardly escaped the play-in tournament.

So, not only is the West stacked, but the Lakers are essentially running it back at this juncture of the offseason and they’re relying on an injury-prone 31-year-old and a soon-to-be 40-year-old to be completely healthy to just barely make the playoffs.

A lot can go wrong for the Lakers, which should only make Hawks fans happy. The Hawks will directly benefit from the Lakers’ turmoil. In an absolutely loaded 2025 draft class, a lottery pick is all Atlanta should be hoping for; after all, we just saw the Hawks win it a couple of months ago with a 3% chance.

It may not be hard for you, Hawks fans, but we are all rooting against the Lakers.

Photographer: Jevone Moore/Icon Sportswire
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