Los Angeles Lakers

L.A. Lakers: Danny Granger and the Lakers' 10 Biggest NBA Draft Misses

Joshua SextonSenior Analyst IIMay 18, 2011

L.A. Lakers: Danny Granger and the Lakers' 10 Biggest NBA Draft Misses

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    INDIANAPOLIS, IN - APRIL 23: Danny Granger #33 of the Indiana Pacers drives against the Chicago Bulls in Game Four of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs at Conseco Fieldhouse on April 23, 2011 in Indianapolis, Indiana. The Pacer
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Considering the L.A. Lakers' consistent amount of success, the draft is something fans of the team normally don't have marked on their calendars.

    In hindsight, there have been some noteworthy players the Lakers had the opportunity to draft through the years but missed out on.

    Keep in mind, there is no guarantee the players mentioned in the following slides would have made the team better than it currently was/is. I am just contemplating what could have been.

    Here are the 10 biggest draft misses in franchise history.

10. Latrell Sprewell, 1992

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    Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images

    The Lakers drafted Anthony Peeler with their first round draft pick in 1992. The team had the chance to draft Latrell Sprewell out of Alabama.

    Sprewell had an up and down career at best, but a young Sprewell could have used some guidance under a prestigious franchise like the Lakers.

    Who knows, he could have ended up being a good third banana to Kobe and Shaq.

    And he probably wouldn't have ended up choking P.J. Carlesimo.

9. Toni Kukoc, 1990

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    10 Jun 1998:  Tony Kukoc #7 of the Chicago Bulls in action against Adam Keefee #31 of the Utah Jazz during the NBA Finals Game 4 at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois. The Bulls defeated the Jazz 86-82. Mandatory Credit: Al Bello  /Allsport
    Al Bello/Getty Images

    With the 27th pick of the 1990 draft, the Lakers selected Elden Campbell out of Clemson University.

    The Chicago Bulls drafted Toni Kukoc out of Yugoslavia with the second pick in Round 2.

    Kukoc wasn’t quite the star Bulls management thought when he finally joined the club in 1993, but he would have been a nice player for the Lakers to have a chance to develop.

8. Andrei Kirilenko, 1999

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    ATLANTA - NOVEMBER 12:  Andrei Kirilenko #47 of the Utah Jazz against the Atlanta Hawks at Philips Arena on November 12, 2010 in Atlanta, Georgia.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, Use
    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    With the 23rd pick in the 1999 draft, the Lakers selected Devean George.

    With the very next pick, the Jazz selected Russia’s Andrei Kirilenko.

    While George proved to be an adequate role player on the Lakers championship teams in the early 2000s, it’s fun to imagine what a young AK-47 could have done with Kobe and Shaq in their primes.

7. Kendrick Perkins, 2003

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    OKLAHOMA CITY, OK - MAY 15:  Center Kendrick Perkins #5 of the Oklahoma City Thunder reacts against the Memphis Grizzlies in Game Seven of the Western Conference Semifinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs on May 15, 2011 at Oklahoma City Arena in Oklahoma City,
    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    The Lakers drafted Brian Cook with their first-round draft pick in 2003. Later in the first round, Memphis selected Kendrick Perkins.

    Considering Shaquille O’Neal was traded the following season, Perkins would have been a decent player to have lying in wait.

6. Dominique Wilkins, 1982

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    LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 20:  Former NBA player Dominique Wilkins arrives to the T-Mobile Magenta Carpet at the 2011 NBA All-Star Game on February 20, 2011 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)
    Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

    The Lakers had the first overall pick in the 1982 draft, and the team selected James Worthy from North Carolina.

    Worthy had a Hall of Fame career playing for the Lakers, which included being named the NBA Finals MVP in 1988. 

    He was the perfect third banana to Magic and Kareem.

    But the team also had the chance to take Dominique Wilkins, who was eventually drafted by Utah with the third overall pick.

    Imagine all of the highlight-reel dunks Magic Johnson could have assisted Wilkins on.

5. Willis Reed, 1964

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    NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 04:  NBA legend Willis Reed poses with his Wheaties box during the unveiling of the special-edition Wheaties box at the NBA Store on February 4, 2009 in New York City.  (Photo by Scott Gries/Getty Images)
    Scott Gries/Getty Images

    In 1964, the Lakers selected Walt Hazzard out of UCLA.

    The team had the chance to draft Willis Reed that year; his Hall of Fame career was highlighted by winning two championships, two Finals MVPs and one regular-season MVP.

    However, if they had drafted Reed, maybe the team never would have ended up with Chamberlain and/or Jabbar.

4. Aaron Brooks, 2007

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    PHOENIX, AZ - MARCH 30:  Aaron Brooks #0 of the Phoenix Suns during the NBA game against the Oklahoma City Thunder at US Airways Center on March 30, 2011 in Phoenix, Arizona.  The Thunder defeated the Suns 116-98. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges
    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    In 2007, the Lakers drafted Javaris Crittenton, who is most famous for his gun altercation with Gilbert Arenas in Washington.

    A very disappointing pick, knowing the Lakers could have drafted Aaron Brooks, Arron Afflalo or Wilson Chandler.

    Needless to say, the Lakers had the chance to draft the point guard they have desperately needed the last few seasons in Aaron Brooks.

3. Dennis Rodman, 1986

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    10 Jun 1998:  Dennis Rodman #91 of the Chicago Bulls in action against John Stockton of the Utah Jazz during the NBA Finals Game 4 at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois.  The Bulls defeated the Jazz 86-82. Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Daniel  /Allsport
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    With the 23rd pick in the 1986 draft, the Lakers selected Ken Barlow out of Notre Dame.

    With the third pick in the second round, Detroit drafted the one and only Dennis Rodman.

    Imagine Rodman pulling down rebounds and manning the paint with Kareem during the last couple of years of the "Showtime" era.

    Also, Rodman would have been a good piece to build around once Magic and Kareem retired.

2. Bob Cousy, 1950

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    BOSTON - APRIL 20:  Boston Celtic great Bob Cousy waves to fans as he heads out to the mound to throw out the ceremonial first pitch before the start of the Boston Red Sox versus the New York Yankees on April 20, 2007 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachuset
    Elsa/Getty Images

    The Minneapolis Lakers selected Kevin O’Shea with their first-round draft pick in 1950.

    Bob Cousy was selected later in the first round.

    If the Lakers had drafted Cousy, it could have altered NBA history drastically.

1. Danny Granger, 2005

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    CHICAGO, IL - APRIL 26: Loul Deng #9 of the Chicago Bulls battles for a rebound with Danny Granger #33 of the Indiana Pacers in Game Five of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs at the United Center on April 26, 2011 in Chicago, I
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    The Lakers selected Andrew Bynum with the 10th pick in the 2005 draft.

    Seven picks later, the Indiana Pacers selected Danny Granger from the University of New Mexico.

    With all of the talk about the Lakers needing to become quicker and more athletic, Granger would sure look good in purple and gold right about now.

    If the ball rolls the right way, Bynum has the opportunity to be the key player of the team’s future. However, since he is injury-prone and there are personnel changes looming, I wouldn’t hold my breath.

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