Where Did All the LA Lakers’ Draft Picks Go?

The Los Angeles Lakers have made numerous transactions with their draft picks in the last decade, but no one is entirely sure where they all went.

Championship contenders will occasionally make small deals involving their picks because they typically choose late in the draft. In the case of the Lakers, they mixed and matched over the course of the last 10 years.

Los Angeles made an appearance in the 2004 NBA Finals and then opted to dismantle their core in the offseason. Mitch Kupchak traded away Shaquille O’Neal in a move that signaled the Lakers would become Kobe Bryant’s team.

With Bryant as the focal point of the franchise, the Lakers made moves to build around the 2-guard. It had an uneven record in the draft during the Bryant era, which prompted a few curious decisions.


Lost Picks

Shaquille O’Neal wanted out of Los Angeles in the worst way, and the Lakers obliged. David DuPree of USA Today provided the details at the time: “O'Neal, disheartened at the departure of coach Phil Jackson and at the Lakers' refusal to give him a contract extension, demanded a trade the day after the season ended.”

They traded him to the Miami Heat for Caron Butler, Brian Grant, Lamar Odom, a 2006 first-round pick (that eventually became Jordan Farmar) and a 2007 second-rounder (Renaldas Seibutis).

With O’Neal gone, the Lakers unloaded the elder statesmen on the team in an effort to give Kobe Bryant some young players that could get up and down the court.

Thus, the Purple and Gold traded away Rick Fox, Gary Payton and a 2006 first-round pick (later became Rajon Rondo) to the Boston Celtics for Chucky Atkins, Jumaine Jones and Chris Mihm.

Needless to say, Los Angeles likely wants that deal back. The fascinating aspect involving Rondo is that, had the Lakers kept the pick, it’s quite possible they...

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