16. Ruben Patterson
The Lakers drafted Patterson in the second round in 1998 just before the lockout. During the work stoppage, the 6’5 wing played in the Greek league. Patterson returned for the start of the NBA season in February, but he played sparingly during his rookie year. There were just four games where he got more than 15 minutes as he was limited to mostly mop-up duty.
Patterson became a free agent after his first year and signed with the Seattle SuperSonics where he immediately jumped into the rotation. He played over 25 minutes per game for eight straight years and even earned the nickname “The Kobe Stopper” for his strong play against the Lakers legend.
The 6’5 wing had a decade-long career as a strong defender as he averaged 10.7 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 1.2 steals in 24.6 minutes per game. He played for five other teams and always carved out a role. Patterson mostly came off the bench, but he provided plenty when his number was called.
Ruben Patterson certainly would have helped the Lakers during their runs in the 2000s. He would not have had the nickname, though. Patterson would have only guarded Kobe Bryant in practice if he stayed with the Los Angeles Lakers.