With all the talk of the Lakers trading for Dwight Howard, it’s easy to forget that the Lakers are a team that rarely discusses trade speculation in public. They prefer to be shrewd and surprise fans when they actually make a move.
It goes back to when Jerry West used to be the general manager. He moved in silent observation behind the scenes and made brilliant moves without showing his hand to the press. It’s even more amazing that he was able to do it in one of the biggest sports markets, and it’s a legacy that’s been passed down to current GM Mitch Kupchak.
So in light of the Howard talk, here are some of the best Lakers trades that fans never saw coming.
Just to clarify on two of the biggest ones:
When the Lakers traded for Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, it wasn’t a surprise considering Abdul-Jabbar requested a move to New York or Los Angeles.
Wilt Chamberlain also asked for a trade and preferred Los Angeles for its social scene.
These are trades involving the Lakers with teams or players that nobody expected. Let’s start with a trade that helped end the Lakers dynasty on a great note.