Lakers’ former core excelling outside of Los Angeles

Lakers' former core excelling outside of Los Angeles


Julius Randle during his tenure in Los Angeles
Photo: Getty Images

It’s not always the case that you can trace the current crop of key NBA players to a single team during a single season. But that’s exactly what the 2017-2018 season was for the Los Angeles Lakers. That season was two years removed from the retirement of Kobe Bryant, who won five championships with the franchise and is in contention as the greatest Laker of all time. Bryant’s retirement paved the way for losing seasons and Lottery picks. These picks and the young core drafted during Bryant’s last couple of seasons, mostly losing ones, formed a group of players currently running the NBA.

That group became All-NBA, All-Stars, Most Improved Players, Sixth Man of the Year, and NBA champions. It makes one think what would have happened had that group stayed together. Once LeBron James chose the Los Angeles Lakers as his next team in 2018, the team’s core was traded away to New Orleans to bring Anthony Davis as James’ new co-star. The duo would win a championship together in the 2020 NBA Bubble season, While the main rotation of that 2017-2018 season is playing huge parts for their current teams. We’ve highlighted the nine key players from that Lakers’ season, chronicling where they were in their careers then and where they are now.


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About the Author

Anthony Barnett
Anthony is the author of the Science & Technology section of ANH.