19. Samaki Walker
Walker was a top-ten pick in 1996 who spent five years as a backup big man before arriving in Los Angeles. He played three seasons in Dallas before two years with the Spurs. Walker averaged over 16 minutes per game just once and made ten starts over the last three years combined.
The Lakers signed him as a free agent in 2001, and he immediately jumped into the starting five over Robert Horry. Walker averaged 6.7 points, 7.0 rebounds, and 1.3 blocks in 24.0 minutes per game. The 6’9 big man started 63 of his 69 games played, but his minutes dropped in the playoffs. Horry took the starting gig and Walker averaged just 12.6 minutes each night as the Lakers won the championship.
His playing time and production declined in year two, and the 27-year-old was virtually out of the rotation by the postseason. Samaki Walker left Los Angeles for Miami in free agency in 2003. The 6’9 big man never played more than 13 minutes per game over his final three seasons before heading overseas in 2006.
It is fair to say Bryant and Walker did not get along, and the Hall of Famer even punched the 6’9 big man over a $100 bet during their time in Los Angeles. Samaki Walker made 143 starts in his career and 102 of them came with the Lakers. He simply should not have been in that position, but winning the championship heels all wounds.