5 Active stars the Los Angeles Lakers missed drafting by a single pick

The Los Angeles Lakers have drafted icons, All-Stars, and high-level role players. What about the active players they missed? How close was L.A. to another dynasty?
2024 NBA Finals - Game Two
2024 NBA Finals - Game Two / Maddie Meyer/GettyImages
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Marcus Smart, 2014

If you're upset about seeing current and former Boston Celtics, apologies in advance. This actually didn't work out too terribly, as the Los Angeles Lakers selected Julius Randle just one pick after Marcus Smart landed with the Celtics.

Considering Randle has experienced his greatest success outside of Los Angeles, however, one still can't help but wonder what could've been if Smart fell just one spot further.

Smart has built a reputation as one of the best defensive players of his generation. He won the Defensive Player of the Year award in 2021-22, becoming the first guard to achieve the feat since Gary Payton in 1995-96 and Michael Jordan in 1987-88.

Smart is also a three-time All-Defensive First Team honoree whose versatility as a 6'4" guard who can defend almost any position has earned critical acclaim.

Smart never developed into the most efficient scorer, but he's a willing shooter who helps hold teams accountable by forcing close-outs. He also averaged 6.0 assists to just 2.2 turnovers per game during his final three seasons with the Celtics.

An elite defender who would've fit perfectly on the 2019-20 championship-winning Lakers, Smart could've locked opponents down for Los Angeles instead of the bitter rivals in Boston.