Everybody wants to be in LA. Everybody dreams of being a Laker and playing at the Staples Center like former legends did. Kobe, Shaq, West, Baylor, Magic, Kareem. Laker culture is just pretty strong.
But, just as it is strong, they’re always looking to land top-tier free agents and proven players, so being a young Laker may not be the easiest thing in the world with all the pressure on your shoulders.
Over the course of history, the Lakers have traded some of the best prospects in the league to make room for proven stars that could help right away, as there’s no time to develop talent when you’re a must-win team. Today, we’re going to let you know about the starting 5 the Lakers could’ve had if they were to use the players they’ve drafted.
Point Guard: Lonzo Ball
Lonzo Ball is still a work in progress, but the Lakers aren’t going to give up on him right away. His defense is already elite, so is his playmaking, although the rest of his offense is yet to catch up with that.
Taken with the 2nd overall pick in 2017, the older of the Ball brothers looks poised to run the point for the Lakers for a very long time, barring injury or a major meltdown from the UCLA product.
Shooting Guard: D’Angelo Russell
D’Angelo Russell was supposed to be something of the likes of James Harden by now, but his lack of improvement, Byron Scott’s terrible coaching and him snitching on Nick Young cost him a spot in the West’s winningest franchise.
Now, the former 2nd overall pick is finally stepping up and proving his worth as a scorer with the Brooklyn Nets, and he looks bound to sign a very lucrative deal when he hits free agency next season.
Small Forward: Brandon Ingram
We tend to bash Brandon Ingram a lot, but that’s because we expected him to be great right away and he’s yet to deliver, showing nothing but glimpses of greatness from time to time throughout 2 and a half seasons.
Ingram drew comparisons with Kevin Durant but his jump-shot looks broken beyond repair, and he’s yet to develop that winning mentality. He’s just 21 years old, so there’s still a chance he turns it around any time soon.
Power Forward: Julius Randle
I always thought the Lakers did a huge mistake not matching Julius Randle’s offer. He’s a much-improved ball handler and scorer, a committed defender, dominant rebounder and effective scorer.
Randle is still quite young and showing why he was taken with the 7th overall pick back then in 2014. Being just 24-years old. He can still become a perennial All-Star should he leave the Pelicans.
Center: Marc Gasol
Is crazy to think Marc Gasol slipped all the way to the 2nd round, as he was taken with the 48th overall pick by the Lakers back in 2007, just to trade him to the Memphis Grizzlies in order to land his older brother Pau.
While Pau helped the Lakers win 2 Championships, Marc grew to become a much more complete player thanks to his defensive expertise. Even at age 33, he’s still one of the most pursuit big men in the league.