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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Derrick White, 2017

Another player who has since gone on to star for the Boston Celtics, Derrick White is one of the most compelling success stories in the NBA. Previously a member of the San Antonio Spurs, White has earned the reputation of being one of the best defensive players in the Association.

Instead of drafting White, however, the Los Angeles Lakers selected Tony Bradley for the Brooklyn Nets in the trade that sent Kyle Kuzma to the purple and gold.

This is another missed opportunity that's somewhat alleviated by the fact that White likely would've been included in the trade for Anthony Davis. Considering he was something of a late-bloomer, however, White could've been retained instead of Kuzma.

In that scenario, the duo of Davis and White would've created the foundation for one of the best defensive teams in the NBA.

At 29, White has become the best version of himself with the Celtics. He averaged 15.2 points, 5.2 assists, 4.2 rebounds, 1.2 blocks, 1.0 steal, and 2.7 three-point field goals made per game in 2023-24, and has earned All-Defense honors in each of the past two seasons.

As clutch as they come, White has been a pillar of the Celtics' success since joining the team in 2022, helping the team reach two NBA Finals and three Conference Finals.