Top 10 active former Los Angeles Lakers currently in the NBA

Atlanta Hawks v Washington Wizards
Atlanta Hawks v Washington Wizards / Rob Carr/GettyImages

Big-time players play for big-time teams. In the landscape of professional sports, the Los Angeles Lakers are among the most elite franchises in history. The purple and gold have been home to not only some of the top basketball players in NBA history but some of the top athletes in sports history.

Unfortunately in the business of sports, guys do not always tend to stick around with one team. Legends like Kobe Bryant and Magic Johnson called Los Angeles home for the duration of their playing careers, but guys like that do not come around every day. For the most part, hoopers have not lasted in LA. Regardless, some of those guys have gone on to accomplish great things elsewhere.

When you look around the league today, there are a variety of former Lakers currently balling out in different uniforms. More specifically, there are ten of those gentlemen who stand out among the pack.

Honorable Mention: Josh Hart, Russell Westbrook, Dennis Schroder, Lonzo Ball, Andre Drummond, Larry Nance Jr, Patrick Beverley, Talen Horton-Tucker, Malik Beasley, Moritz Wagner, JaVale McGee, Thomas Bryant, Troy Brown Jr

Best former Lakers still in the NBA:

1. Brandon Ingram | New Orleans Pelicans

After three seasons of progressive growth with the Lakers to begin his career, it did not take BI long to sprout his wings after being traded to New Orleans as the headliner of the famous Anthony Davis trade. In fact, he was selected to his first All-Star game appearance in his first season with the Pelicans. Even more impressively, he was voted the NBA's Most Improved Player for that same campaign.

While 2019-20 may have been his official coming out party, Ingram has been far from a one-hit wonder. He has averaged greater than 22 points per game in each of the following three seasons while also growing in his abilities to get his teammates involved. His career momentum has continued into the start of this season, and the next step for him is to expand in the art of leadership. If he can improve in that aspect of the game, it will go a long way in helping the Pels break out of the league's mid-tier.

2. Brook Lopez | Milwaukee Bucks

Lopez's game has continuously evolved throughout his career. When he started in Brooklyn, he was a traditional bouldering big man who lived in the paint. Upon joining the Lakers prior to the 2017-18 season, he adapted to the modern NBA and became more of a pick-and-pop threat. His ability to space the floor was very beneficial in Los Angeles, but the front office elected to let him walk for nothing that following offseason.

Since then, he has become an integral part of the Milwaukee Bucks's success. In fact, one could even go as far as to say that they would not have won the 2021 NBA title were it not for Lopez's contributions on both ends. His uncanny ability to space the floor on offense was one thing, but his mastery in rim protection has been the main thing going for him as a Buck. He just barely missed out on his first Defensive Player of the Year award in 2022-2023, a clear indication of his anchor status in Milwaukee.

3. Julius Randle | New York Knicks

The numbers have always been on Randle's side, as the versatile power forward is a bonafide stat sheet stuffer. There is no denying the amount of talent that Randle possesses, as he is in the midst of his fifth season as the main man in Madison Square Garden. He could easily find himself at the top of this list, but an ongoing plague of inconsistency has held him back from elevating to superstar status.

4. Kyle Kuzma | Washington Wizards

If this were a list ranking the top active former Lakers based on fashion sense, Kuz would assuredly be the top dog. Unfortunately for him, that is not the case. However, his style on the court has continuously expanded in the same way that his pre-game outfits have continuously branched out.

When he started, Kuzma was almost exclusively known for his ability to score in a multitude of manners. Since joining the Wizards, his playmaking ability has erupted while his efforts as a defender and on the boards have gradually increased. Washington is by no means a good basketball team, but Kuz has been a breath of fresh air in the nation's capital.

5. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope | Denver Nuggets

KCP is one of the more sound 3&D guys in the NBA today. Laker fans were always very hard on him during his time in Tinsel Town, but those same scoundrels would surely welcome his point-of-attack defense and steady outside shot back if granted the opportunity. For now, Caldwell-Pope could really not ask for a better situation and should remain a key ingredient in the Nuggets' championship recipe.

6. Alex Caruso | Chicago Bulls

Much of the NBA universe seemed to peg Alex Caruso, otherwise known as the one that got away, as more of a meme-type player than a legitimate rotation player when he slowly started receiving chances early on in his career with the Lakers. As time went on, it became very clear that AC was much more than the brunt of a joke. He was an invaluable piece of the team that brought home the championship belt from the bubble.

The box score will never show his genuine impact, but he has continued his output as one of the more underappreciated players in the league since joining the Bulls in 2021. His nonstop defensive chops were finally awarded by the league a season ago, as he was named to his first All-NBA Defensive team. His defense has always been his calling card, but he is no slouch on the other end either. That point has been driven home by the handful of clutch shots he has already buried in 2023-2024.

7. Malik Monk | Sacramento Kings

After a great 2021-2022 season with the Lakers, the Kings rewarded him for his performance with a prettier paycheck. In his first season in Sacramento, he rewarded Monte McNair and the Kings' front office for their investment in him. He was a vital member of their resurgent roster and ended the season fifth in 6th Man of the Year voting.

While he may not have won the honor then, he is among the early favorites (if not the favorite) for the crown. He is dishing out dimes at a higher rate than ever, and is on a two-game scorcher streak to begin the month of December (23.5 points and 4.5 3's a night on 57.1% shooting from the field and 56.3% from outside). His unforeseen maturation through the past few seasons has been one of the more quietly pleasant storylines in the entire association.

8. Jordan Clarkson | Utah Jazz

JC was one of the first major second-round steals by Jesse Buss and the Lakers' scouting department. He was getting buckets at will almost right away upon being drafted, and his scoring arsenal has followed him to both Cleveland and most recently Utah.

Clarkson is a solid secondary scoring threat but has never been the most efficient in putting the ball in the basket. That combined with his lackluster efforts as a perimeter defender will probably hold him back from ever elevating his game to the next level, especially at the age of 31.

9. Ivica Zubac | Los Angeles Clippers

In a league in which traditional rebounding, rim-protecting + running, screen-setting big men have slowly died off, Zu has shown no signs of fading. The Clippers have never been short on scorers since they acquired him, making his responsibilities with the team extremely simple. He has thrived within his role, and all signs point to him holding a place in this league for years to come.

10. Lonnie Walker IV | Brooklyn Nets

Currently slotted at number ten on the NBA's list of leaders in 3-point percentage, Lonnie Walker IV is in the middle of his best season after a mini-breakout with the Lakers a season ago. The explosive athlete seems to be putting the pieces together on the offensive end, and the next step will be for him to commit to growing on the less glamorous end of the floor.

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