Los Angeles Lakers is one of the most successful franchises in NBA history. The team has won 16 championships in its 72-year history. Because of the success on the pitch, the Purple & Gold had less success off the pitch in terms of top draft picks. The Lakers only had fourteen top 5 picks and only three of them were number one. But all three were cult.
The Minneapolis Lakers then designed in 1958 Elgin Baylor. The 6’5 ″ little striker took the NBA by storm. He averaged 24.9 points per game and became an NBA All-Star in his rookie season. Though Baylor ended his career without championships, he went down in history as one of the best Lakers of all time. During his 14-year NBA career, he averaged 27.4 points, 13.5 rebounds and 4.3 assists per game.
In 1979 the Lakers had the first draft pick for the second time in history. And they used it well. Earvin “Magic” Johnson was Los Angeles choice. He helped the Lakers win a championship in his rookie season. The Hall of Famer played an important role in four titles for the Lakers. One of the best playmakers in NBA history ended his career with an average of 19.5 points, 7.2 rebounds and 11.2 assists per game.
The third and last time that the Lakers were awarded the Top Draft Pick was in 1982. Once again the Purple & Gold was not missing. They chose the 6’9 ” little striker James Worthy his name is closely linked to the Lakers to this day. One of the big names in Los Angeles helped the team win three championships in 1985, 1987 and 1988. He had a career average of 17.6 points, 5.1 rebounds and 3 assists per game. A fact that speaks a lot about his talent is the following Michael Jordan selected Worthy in his five all-time starts.
Statistics courtesy of Basketball reference