Los Angeles Lakers all-time draft bust starting 5

Los Angeles Lakers, Lonzo Ball Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports
Los Angeles Lakers, Lonzo Ball Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports /
5 of 5
Los Angeles Lakers
Los Angeles Lakers (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images) /

Lakers all-time bust C: Earl Jones

The Lakers were looking for Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s eventual replacement when they drafted Jones in 1984. The future Hall of Famer had just turned 37 years old, and there were no guarantees about how many years he had left in the tank. LA had lost in the NBA Finals two straight years and had already won two championships in the 1980s. They were hoping to find another big man that could play off Magic Johnson for the next decade-plus.

Jones played just two games as a rookie and a total of seven minutes with the Lake Show before they sold his rights to the Spurs in 1985. The seven-footer appeared in just 12 more games in the NBA before heading overseas. Jones spent some time in the CBA, and he would go on to have a decade-long professional career, but only 14 games came in the NBA.

The Lakers made out just fine too. They won the championship in 1985, 1987, and 1988. Kareem played five more years and was an All-Star in every season. He was the NBA’s all-time leading scorer until LeBron James broke his mark in 2023.

dark. Next. 50 greatest Lakers of all time

The purple and gold have not always nailed their draft picks, and they will have another key selection to make this summer. LA could use another rotation piece around LeBron James and Anthony Davis, but will the Lakers be able to find one in the mid-to-late first round? Stay tuned to find out.