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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Anfernee Simons, 2018

This one is impossible to hold against the Los Angeles Lakers. Anfernee Simons has become one of the most productive guards in the NBA, and he would certainly be a compelling fit alongside the likes of Anthony Davis and LeBron James.

Simons was selected one pick before the Lakers drafted Moritz Wagner at No. 28 in the 2018 NBA Draft, however, which at least begins to cushion the blow.

Simons, 25, has become one of the most dynamic offensive players in the NBA. This past season, he averaged 22.6 points, 5.5 assists, 3.6 rebounds, and 3.4 three-point field goals made per game while shooting 38.5 percent from beyond the arc and 91.6 percent at the free throw line.

An explosive athlete and elite shooter, one can only dream of the type of plays he could be making with Davis and James consuming the attention they do from opposing defenses.

Simons has scored at least 40 points on three different occasions over the past two seasons, as well as 30-plus points in 22 games. With a contract that will pay him just under $26 million in 2024-25, it's possible that he could still end up on the Lakers' trade radar.

Nevertheless, the Portland Trail Blazers star is yet another player who the Lakers were painfully close to landing without having to give up other assets.