When you've won as many championships as the Los Angeles Lakers, you don't tend to have a great many high draft picks. That's a good thing as a franchise; to be able to say you haven't seen the NBA Lottery often.
So, instead, I wanted to lay out my Top 10 Greatest Draft Picks of All-Time.
Let me know what you think.
Let the debate begin!!
#10. Elden Campbell. 1990. Picked No. 27. College: Clemson.
This guy actually is the top point man in the 1990s for the Lakers.
(Sorry, no Lakers photo available.)
#9. Vlade Divac. 1989. Picked No. 26. No college.
One of the first to usher in the European movement of players to the NBA. A solid player for the Lakers, including a finals run in the Lakers v. Bulls series.
And, don't forget Jerry West traded Divac to Charlotte for the rights to Kobe Bryant. Thanks, Vlade.
#8- Derek Fisher. 1996. Picked No. 24. College: Arkansas-Little Rock
How does four rings sound? And, he came in the same year as Kobe. A class act all the way.
#7- Norm Nixon. 1977. Picked No. 22. College: Duquesne.
Stormin' Norman "Norm" Nixon won two rings with the Lakers in the early 80s, and gave the team a double-headed monster at the point guard position with a young player named Magic Johnson.
#6- AC Green. 1985. Picked No. 23. College: Oregon State.
AC Green was part of the Showtime 1980's Lakers. The guy could rebound and fill the lane. He defended and was another class act.
#5- James Worthy. 1982. Picked No. 1. College: North Carolina.
"Big Game" James Worthy was the third Hall of Famer on the Showtime 1980's Lakers. The man had unstoppable moves in the post and could get out on the break as well. Amazing player and person.
#4- Elgin Baylor. 1958. Picked No. 1. By Minneapolis Lakers. College: Seattle
Baylor might now be remembered as the LA Clippers general manager and that would be a shame. The man was a high fly act and unbelievable scorer before Kobe, Michael, and even Dr. J. He partnered with Jerry West to give the 1960's Lakers amazing perimeter play.
#3- Jerry West. 1960. Picked No. 2. College: West Virginia.
The NBA Logo and Mr. Clutch. There are too many descriptions for this amazing and gifted player who led the Lakers to a title in 1972. He also will be remembered as the NBA's greatest general manager, not only building the 1980's Showtime Lakers but also the Shaq and Kobe three-peat team of the 2000s.
#2- Kobe Bryant. 1996. Picked No. 13. No college.
Four rings. Chasing Magic and Michael for more and looks like he might get there. Simply unstoppable. A real warrior and gladiator. Him coming to the Lakers out of high school at the same time Jerry West got Shaq to join the Lakers will truly be the best single year in Lakers' history: 1996.
#1- Earvin “Magic” Johnson. 1979. Picked #1. College: Michigan State
The Magic man simply is the greatest Laker in my opinion. If not for Bird's Celtics, he would have had more rings. He played in 10 Finals in 12 years. He and Bird led the birth of today's NBA. Without Magic, there would be no Showtime, no Lake Show, no Jack and the Hollywood influence.
And Magic the person is far greater than Magic the player. He is an amazing humanitarian and gives back to his community.