Who is the best player ever drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers?
The Lakers are one of the two most successful and heralded franchise in the history of the league, along the Celtics. And has had an unrivalled number of superstar and franchise players lace up for the purple and gold. But it got me thinking how many of these hall of famers were actually drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers or were drafted by the Lakers own pick? Magic was drafted by the Lakers but the pick originally belong to the New Orleans Jazz, my next guess was Worthy, but that pick came from Cleveland. Kobe was originally drafted by Charlotte but refused to play for anyone besides L.A. Now Dwight Howard has joined the list of (potential) hall of famer centres to leave their original team to join the Lakers, including Kareem, Wilt and Shaq. I had to go all the way back to Baylor, West and Mikan as the best Lakers who were drafted by the Lakers (all be it when they were based in Minneapolis) so I ask you who is the best player drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers? I cannot think of one!
and yes this is a back handed dig at how unfair the league really is
Who cares if the pick originally belonged to the New Orleans Jazz? LA still drafted him
Let's compare the Celtics drafted players, to the lakers drafted players
The first pick the year Magic Johnson was drafted originally belonged to New Orleans, but he wasn't dealt on draft day...the Lakers picked him themselves. The Jazz traded that pick two seasons before that for Gail Goodrich. I personally consider a guy drafted by whatever team picked him regardless of whatever trades happened prior. It would be different if it was a draft day trade after he was picked, but that wasn't the case.
The next best Lakers pick is the Logo, Jerry West himself.
George Mikan first wasn't drafted at all and second his first team wasn't even the Lakers. After college he signed with Chicago American Gears of the National Basketball League. Then after the folded all the players were distributed equally and he ended up on the Lakers.
But the Lakers didn't 'earn' that pick from their poor play, they didn;t need the help (which is the whole point of the draft really) They were already a playoff team led by Kareem (also not drafted by the lakers) I'm not questioning whether Magic was picked by them at all, or taking any credit away from the lakers for drafting him. I was just setting the parameters of the discussion, to make it a little interesting, and to kind of prove a point.
The Lakers are constantly re-loading without bottoming out through the draft. They are able to keep re-stocking at will (fairly or not, depends on your opinion on the Lakers I guess) Their window is only rarely shut. And if so it's open again by another Superstar without giving up anything. Don't take anything away from the Lakers Front-office, it's just a sign of a broken system.
And Jerry West was drafted from their last year in Minneapolis, I should of specified, my mistake, but drafted by the 'Los Angeles' Lakers. So let's not count him in the discussion. Also going all the way back to 1960, over 50 years ago further proves the point considering how many champoinships the Lakers have played for in that time.
So far my pick is Divic, or Nick Van Exel (both absolute draft steals!)
The Lakers may have had some help from some bad GM's in the past, Like the New Orleans GM that traded a 1st round for Gail Goodrich, or the Charlote GM that accepted a deal for Kobe Bryant, I'm sorry but Divac wasn't worth it then and he isn't worth it Now...
I think if we are going to go off Laker's picks they actually had to work for(Because getting the # 1 pick should be a No Brainer) Than I think Derek Fisher and Andrew Bynum count as 2 of the best players picked by L.A...
magic no doubt, i also like d.fish and eddie jones. i think becauser the lakers are the biggest game in town (no nfl), and la is a city that there are a lot of different things to do they cannot afford to slump to long and build through the draft like other teams. i believe they shoukd keep more of their picks to get a little younger. but likeile wilborn said young teama dont win titles.
They have had some heists in trades, and some good draft day wheeling and dealing, but they have also had good drafts themselves. Yeah, I think Vlade Divac and Nick Van Exel was pretty damn good.
Of course, the old greats like Jerry West and Elgin Baylor (actually drafted by the team when they were still in Minnesota).
If we aren't counting Magic, which I think we should count him since the Lakers did pick him (although I am not sure who made the pick. I think Jerry West wanted Sidney Moncrief or something like that).
But, best pick for the Lakers with a pick they originally had, since the Baylor/West years has to be Andrew Bynum. All-star games, 3 Finals, and 2 titles, plus the Lakers trade him and end up with the best center in basketball.
Modern day, Bynum is the best Lakers pick. All time, Jerry West. But, Elgin Baylor was a beast too, and helped keep the Lakers afloat when they moved to LA.
Vlade and Nickie V were some great draft day steals. Turning Vlade into Kobe later on worked out well. Derek Fisher was another great draft pick for them, which was their pick with their own draft pick after having made the Vlade for Kobe trade earlier in the same draft to complete the Shaq-Kobe-Fisher offseason.
Eddie Jones was a very solid pick. He turned into an all-star. Anthony Peeler was decent. Elden Campbell was a good one too, a very solid performer for the early nineties and Lake Show teams. Now, this guy didn't ever play a game for the Lakers but the team did actually draft Marc Gasol and used him in that Pau trade. He's the guy that made the trade not so lopsided, and you have to give credit to the Lakers for actually taking a flyer on the kid, and then using him in the big trade for his brother which gave Kobe and Company two more titles.
I think that the Lakers might not be the most consistent team at drafting but they aren't afraid to take home run swings, and connect on enough of them to stay relevant. The Lakers aren't afraid to make a move, either in the draft or free agency, and aren't afraid to pay guys who are worth it.
since i started watching the lakers in 1992, the team has had only 2 top 10 draft picks. Eddie jones who went 10th in 1994 and andrew bynum who went 10th in 2005. They got it right landing all-stars both times. But its crazy to think how well they have been run from top to bottom to build winners.
Guys, everyone forgets that Charlotte didn't pick Kobe, and then realize, "Oh crap, this kid doesn't want to play for us" and then panick trade him to LA. You have to realize that many draft day trades are already in place, the Hornets were theorhetically picking for the Lakers, so technically the Lakers did pick Kobe. Sam thing with Dirk, K-Love, and many others.
The Lakers drafted Vlade Divac and Elden Campbell with back to back late first round picks. They also drafted A.C. Green with the 23rd pick in 1985. He was a good value pick there and won two titles with Showtime (another with the Y2K Lakers) and an all-star appearance in 1990.
The Lakers have really nailed some top picks, done well with mid-first round picks, and have even had some good value picks and some steals with late first round picks and second round picks.
The Lakers had a great run in the draft from 1977 to the mid-Nineties with Norm Nixon at 22 in 1977, Magic with the first pick in 1979, James Worthy at 1 in 1982, AC Green at 23 in 1985, Vlade at 26 in 1989, Elden Campbell at 27 in 1990, Anthony Peeler at 15 in 1992 (decent), Nick Van Exel at 37 in 1993 after a mediocre/decent pick of George Lynch at 12), Eddie Jones at 10 in 1994, and Derek Fisher at 24 in 1996. They nailed both top picks and had some good picks in the 10-15 range with some steals late. Oddly enough, some of the draft picks that missed in that era went to Notre Dame (back to back), Indiana, UCLA, and Michigan. Great run for them that gave them that early great backcourt of Nixon-Magic, then the great Showtime players, followed by the Lake Show players and the guys they put around Shaq-Kobe.
They haven't done as well recently but most of their recent picks have been in the very late 2nd round. Although I do like the Robert Sacre pick at 60. Still, they picked Andrew Bynum at 10 in 2005 in a run of some solid picks with Brian Cook at 24 and Luke Walton at 32 in 2003, Sasha Vujecic at 27 in 2004, Ronny Turiaf at 37 in that Bynum draft, and Jordan Farmar at 26 in 2006.
So, they have had a lot of grand slams and home runs, but they have also had plenty of singles and doubles with not too many big busts.
they drafted well just usually are picking at the end of the first
Andrew Bynum/Norm Nixon.
First off, I am a Hawks fan who roots for Spurs because of &$#%#&@! Atlanta situation, so am not biased to the Lakers. Is your anger frustration directed at the Lakers, the league or with the idiotic gms who foolishly made crap deals with LA?
Lets start with the obvious, a whole lot of players are going to want to be in LA. The have the weather, tradition, lifestyle etc. Love them hate the or fall in the middle you have to admit the team has a history of making smart moves. Perhaps we could say they are dealing with less smart GMs but hey Red mastered that for the Celtics.
Lets take this a step further, New York should be in an even better position than LA but they are owned by. Dolan who is frankly not the type of owner I would wish on my worst enemy's team. Chicago owner is hesitant to pay tax (an once quoted he would trade all his NBA rings for a World Series championship) the mere fact that he continued to support crumbs as GM even when he new MJ and Pippen hated Krause speaks volumes.
I dislike Buss but he has done what it takes to win, he has also been lucky.
Force me to continue this in 2 parts.
Teams to be both smart and have some luck.
Spurs lucky enough to win lottery year Duncan available, Raptors unlucky to win in the year there no superstar and they pick Bragnani :( bad luck.
Bucks have higher pick than Mavs in Nowitski draft and they smart enough combined with Bucks foolish enough to do a trade.
Lakers a perfect storm of good location, not penny pinched by owner (think Clippers etc) trading, luck and brains.