The Los Angeles Lakers are used to having star-studded lineups. They've had some of the greatest players in NBA history like George Mikan, Jerry West, James Worthy, Elgin Baylor, Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Shaquille O'Neal, Wilt Chamberlain, Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, and Anthony Davis, so you have to be a top-notch player if you want to wear the purple and gold.
People think that the Lakers were able to build a Championship contender in little-to-no time but that wasn't the truth. In fact, the Lakers had to gather assets for years in order to be able to pull off the Anthony Davis trade and win that NBA Championship.
But how would the Lakers fare right now if they featured only the players that they drafted and traded away? Would they be able to compete right away? From what we can tell, they'd be nowhere near a Championship contender as of today but would have a bright future ahead of them. Let's break it down:
PG - Lonzo Ball
(2nd Pick - 2017 NBA Draft)
Lonzo Ball was supposed to be the Lakers' savior and he was, sort of speak, because he was included in the Anthony Davis trade. All jokes aside, Ball is a terrific player, a solid playmaker, and a top-tier defender that could still become one of the best point guards in the league.
Perhaps, Lonzo only needed a change of environment to focus entirely on basketball and bring the best of his game. There's no denying his upside as a walking triple-double threat and versatile defender, and perhaps he'll get another shot with the purple-and-gold down the road.
SG - D'Angelo Rusell
(2nd Pick - 2015 NBA Draft)
To be fair, D'Angelo Russell was never put in a position to succeed with the Lakers. He didn't get as many minutes as he should have, the team wasn't very good, and he dug his own grave with that infamous Nick Young incident. Now, looking back, we can agree that it was for the best that they traded him to the Brooklyn Nets.
D'Angelo Russell blossomed into a dominant scorer both on and off the ball, pretty much like the guy we thought he'd be during his time with the Ohio State Buckeyes. He's an All-Star already and is yet to enter his prime, and he reportedly holds no grudges towards the Lakers, so you never know.
SF - Brandon Ingram
(2nd pick - 2016 NBA Draft)
Brandon Ingram drew a lot of comparisons with Kevin Durant when he first entered the league, both because of his body and style of play. And while he's yet to reach that superstar status, Ingram finally flourished as a two-way stud during his first year with the New Orleans Pelicans.
It's likely that Ingram needed to get the monkey off his back and change his environment to finally prove his worth. He succeeded under less pressure and is now one of the most promising players in the league, so perhaps the Lakers will look to bring him back once his next contract runs out.
PF - Julius Randle
(7th pick - 2014 NBA Draft)
Julius Randle was the first young player of the Lakers' rebuild, and as such, he was arguably the one who struggled the most. His tenure with the Lakers looked condemned from the start, as he suffered a season-ending injury just a couple of minutes into his debut with the purple and gold.
Randle put in a lot of effort and worked his way back from injury, proving his upside as a versatile, bruising forward and even winning the heart of some fans. Sadly for him, the Lakers couldn't afford to bring him back with LeBron James as their top free-agent target, so they allowed him to walk away and get his payday elsewhere.
C - Marc Gasol
(48th pick -2007 NBA Draft)
Even though he didn't play a single second of basketball with the Los Angeles Lakers, you knew that there wasn't a chance that they were going to let Pau Gasol's younger brother slip in the Draft. They took him in 2007 and let him play another season in Spain but eventually traded him to the Memphis Grizzlies.
Marc was a bit of a late bloomer but once he took off he became one of the best two-way big men in the league, even winning the Defensive Player of the Year award. Now, Marc Gasol is heading back overseas to play for FCB Barcelona, so he's not likely to ever wear the purple and gold.