Greatest Transactions in Laker History


The reason the Los Angeles Lakers are the most successful franchise in sports history is because of several remarkable transactions that they have made throughout their rich history. Many believe that the Pau Gasol trade during the 2008 season was the greatest trade in Laker history because of what we gave up in the deal. I'm here to argue that it's not. At this time in Laker history, it barely cracks the top 5. Don't believe me, keep reading and maybe I can convince you otherwise.

The Lakers have made several transactions that wont even make the list that have helped them win championships throughout the years. Even small trades involving roll players that seem unimportant at the moment can turn into very smart transactions that make our front office look like Miss Cleo {in my best Jamaican accent} "Call me now for your free reading"...........

Obtaining Trevor Ariza for Maurice Evans and Brian Cook in 2007 helped the Lakers win their title in 2009. Ariza became a very important starter for the Lakers and if not for an injury in 2008, the Lakers may be in the middle of a 3-peat. Trading for Sedale Threatt in the summer of 1991 for 3 future second-round picks seemed illogical at the time, but after "Magic" Johnson announced his retirement a month later, Threatt became the starter and lead the Lakers to the postseason during his two seasons with the Lakers while averaging 15 points and 7 assists.


Want more? Stay tuned after the jump for my complete list.

  Bob McAdoo - In 1981, the Lakers sent their 1983 second round pick to the Nets for injury-stricken Bob McAdoo. McAdoo had been in the NBA for 10 years and was a five-time all-star and three-time scoring champ. He had been injured-plagued and his numbers were declining. Many thought his career was coming to an end. He enjoyed 4 healthy years as the Lakers sixth-man, playing along side Magic, Kareem & Worthy. McAdo oonly spent 4 seasons with the Lakers, but was a huge part of the Lakers bench and helped lead them to two titles in 1982 and 1985. (This would probably be similar to us getting Tracy McGrady this summer and have him coming off our bench, healthy - if that is at all possible for him)


9.  Robert Horry- In what is probably known as one of the most unpopular trade in Lakers history (behind the trades involving Eddie Jones, Norm Nixon and Shaquille O'Neal, respectively) the Lakers traded All-Star forward Cedric Ceballos and Rumeal Robinson to the Phoenix Suns for Robert Horry and Joe Klein. Even though it was unpopular at the time, the trade helped the Lakers as Horry became a starter for the Lakers and Ceballos' carrer dwindled after leaving the Lakers and ended shortly after the trade. Horry never put up All-Star numbers for the Lakers but he was an important part of the 3-peat championship team that won titles from 2000 - 2002. He played along side Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant, and emerged as one of the game's greatest clutch shooters. He is most well known for his buzzer beating three-pointer in the 2002 WCF versus the Sacramento Queens Kings.


8. Byron Scott - In 1983, in probably the second most unpopular trade in Laker history, the Lakers sent starting guard Norm Nixon, Eddie jordan and two future second-round picks to the San Diego Clippers for Swen Nater and the fourth overall pick in the 1983 draft, Byron Scott. Scott emerged as the Lakers starting shooting guard for 10 seasons and helped lead the team to titles in 1985, 1987 & 1988. In 1988, Scott the Lakers in scoring with a career high 21.7 ppg. (And I'm almost positive that most of us here at SS&R hope that Scott never comes back to the Lakers, atleast as a head coach. But good luck in Cleveland........)


7. James Worthy - Midway through the 1980 season, the Lakers made a trade that played a key role in their "showtime" era dynasty. They sent Don Ford and a 1980 first round pick to the Cleveland Cavaliers for Butch Lee and a 1982 first round pick. That 1982 pick ended up being the #1 overall pick in the draft, which the defending champions used to draft James Worthy. "Big Game James" joined forces with Kareem and Magic to create the most dangerous trio in the history of the NBA (Yes, I'm looking at you, Miami). He won 3 titles with the Lakers in 1985, 1987 & 1988, and was Finals MVP in 1988. (Could you imagine having the No. 1 overall pick the year after winning the championship? Can you say "Lakers starting point guard, John Wall.........")

6. Wilt Chamberlain - In the summer of 1968, the Lakers pulled of their first blockbuster deal when they acquired reigning MVP Wilt Chamberlain from the Philadelphia 76ersin return for Archie Clark, Jerry Chambers and Darral Imhoff. "Wilt the Stilt" teamed up with another superstar in Jerry West to lead the Lakers to an NBA championship in 1973. He won Finals MVP that year as well. Wilt is regarded as one of the top 5 players in NBA history. During his five years in LA, Wilt earned four rebounding titles and made the All-Star team 4 times. (This trade would be similar to us trading for Steve Nash back in 2004 after he won his first MVP award for Caron Butler, Devean George and Brian Grant............ Pull the trigger, Mitch!)


5. Pau Gasol - With an unhappy Kobe Bryant who was demanding to be surrounded by better talent, the Lakers were in search for an All-Star before the trade deadline during the 2008 season. They found their answer in Grizzlies' big man Pau Gasol. The Lakers received Gasol in exchange for Kwame Brown, Javaris Crittenton, Marc Gasol, the contract of Aaron McKieand two future round picks. With Pau in the starting lineup, the Lakers reached the Finals in 2008 and won the championship in 2009 & 2010. This transaction will probably be higher on the list in the near future after the Lakers win a couple more championships!!! (Many people believed this to be one of the most lop-sided trades in NBA history, but they should not. Memphis received a future all-star center in Pau's little brother, and got huge cap relief with Brown and McKie's contract. They also got Darrell Arthur and GreivisVasquez with the 2 draft picks. Crittenton had potential but did not work out in Memphis.)


4. Shaquille O'Neal - Shaq became a free agent after the 1996 season. While he was playing on the 1996 Olympic team, it was announced that he would be leaving the Orlando Magic and had signed a 7 year, $121 Million deal with the Los Angeles Lakers. The Lakers' expectations grew with Shaq in town, but it took them a few years to get a team capable of winning a title. After the additions of Glen Rice and Robert Horry, and with the help of Kobe Bryant, the Lakers went on to win their first title in the Kobe/Shaq era in 2000. They went on to win three championships in a row. Shaq earned Finals MVP those 3 years. ( I still cant believe he's going to be wearing green this year. Makes me sick........)


3. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar - (OR IS IT KAREEN) In 1975, Milwaukee bucks star center Kareem Abdul-Jabbar requested a trade to his hometown of New York or Los Angeles, where he played college ball at UCLA. It took 8 months, but the Lakers finally answered the call. The Lakers received Kareem and Walt Wesley in exchange for Elmore Smith, Brian Winters, Dave Meyers and Junior Bridgeman. Kareem won 3 MVP awards with the Lakers and helped lead them to 5 NBA titles. In his final season as a Laker, his "retierement tour", he received standing ovations at all the games, home and away. He is regarded as one of the best centers to ever play the game.

2. Earvin "Magic" Johnson - As it turns out, the Lakers losing one of their best players in 1976 was one of the best things to ever happen to the Lakers franchise. Gail Goodrich signed with the New Orleans (now Utah) Jazz in 1976 and the Lakers received compensation in the form of 3 future first-round picks in 1977, 1978 & 1979, as well as a second-round pick in 1980. Fortunately for the Lakers, that first-round pick in 1979 was the No. 1 overall pick. The Lakers chose Magic johnson and most of us know how the story goes. Magic became the greatest point guard ever and led the Lakers to 5 titles.


 1. Kobe Bryant - Nobody in their right mind would trade away an average NBA center for one of the greatest players in NBA history right? Well, the Charlotte Hornets did. They didn't know the talent that Kobe Bryant possessed, but it was obvious that Jerry West did. A few weeks after being drafted by the Hornets with the 13th overall pick in the 1996 draft, Kobe Bryant was shipped to the Lakers in exchange for Vlade Divac. Divac only lasted two seasons in Charlotte, while Kobe is going into his 15th year with the Purple & Gold. He has lead the Lakers to 5 NBA Championships, with the possibility of a couple more. So, in conclusion the Lakers traded away a solid big man for (arguably) the greatest NBA player of all time. Not to shabby!!


So, there you have it. In my opinion, the greatest transactions in Laker history. In my mind, Pau could end up passing Shaq on the list, but I don't think he will pass Kareem. Kobe and Magic were neck and neck for the #1 spot, but considering we expect the Lakers to win a couple more championships in the next couple years, Kobe gets it. If you disagree with me, tell me why below. Id like to hear your guys and gals opinions on this. The Lakers have the money to go out and get talent when they see it, and have done it very well in the past. Lets hope they keep it up in the future. And for those of you who doubt the Lakers............




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