17. Ivica Zubac
The Lakers gave up on Zubac in a trade that will never make any sense. They drafted the seven-footer in the second round in 2016, and he was productive in a limited role during his two-and-half seasons with the team.
In Feb. 2019, the Lakers decided to trade him and Michael Beasley to the LA Clippers for Mike Muscala. The floor-spacing big man played just 17 games with the Lakers before departing in free agency as Zubac went on to new heights with his new team. He is the Clippers starting center and a walking double-double as the Lakers have struggled to find a productive big man next to Anthony Davis in recent years.
This deal made no sense in any way. The Lakers traded for a rental as a team destined for the lottery. They gave up on a young promising talent to get a veteran but weren’t in the hunt. They finished with the 11th-worst record in the NBA and were firmly in the lottery.
Los Angeles was trying to avoid paying Zubac, but he signed a reasonable contract with the Clippers that summer that the Lakers would have loved to have on their books. This trade is difficult to work out, and it is clear that the purple and gold gave up on Ivica Zubac way too soon.