The acquisition of legendary centers has always been in the fore front of people’s minds before the Dwight Howard trade occurred, and after the DwightMare was over it was another notch on the center bed post for the big market franchise.
The Lakers spend more time plucking the ripened big men of the NBA world than harvesting and developing their own, so those that thought that the Lakers were never in the Dwight Howard trade picture were sorely mistaken. Legendary big men and the Los Angeles Lakers just go together like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
Let’s go over such trades that involved the Lakers for the big boys of the NBA.
It didn’t matter where Wilt was, he dominated whenever against whomever, but he was traded to the Lakers from Philadelphia in 1968 on July 9th for Jerry Chambers, Archie Clark and Darrall Imhoff. By the time he joined the Lakers, he had 9 All-Star appearances, led the league in scoring seven times, scored 100 points in one game, and was an NBA Champion. Still, Will had plenty of fight in him.
He led the league in rebounds, 21.1 per game — his first season with Los Angeles and would his second title in Los Angeles in 1972, which would be his only title won in Los Angeles. Wilt would retire in the 1972-1973 season scoring 13.2 points and 18.6 rebounds that final year.
Kareem spent his first six seasons in Milwaukee in which he appeared in six All-Star games, three MVP awards, one NBA Championship, but the Lakers would yet again pick a ripened big man in 1975 on June 16th in which L.A. sent Brian Winters, Elmore Smith, Junior Bridgeman, David Meyers and cash to the Bucks.
Kareem would bring his patented sky hook to Los Angeles and his presence would be felt immediately as he won the league’s MVP that first season in L.A. with 27.7 points on 52.9% FG shooting, 16.9 rebounds, and 4.1 blocks per game. Kareem would end up winning two more MVP’s in Los Angeles along with leading the Lakers to five championships and Lakers’ drafting of Magic Johnson in ’79 helped this dynasty.
While he was at the Lake Show he added 13 more All-Star appearances — bringing his total to 19 — and would retire in 1988-89 with career averages of 24.6 points, 11.2 rebounds, and 2.6 blocks.
The more recent picked center was the dominant Shaq who had played with the Orlando Magic, but in 1996 signed with the Lakers. Before Shaq had signed, the Los Angeles Lakers had traded Vlade Divac for the rights to Kobe Bryant from Charlotte Hornets (they drafted him with their 13th pick).
With his time in Los Angeles, Shaq had seven All-Star appearances, three championships, three Finals MVP’s, and league MVP.
In the summer of 2004 he was traded to the Miami Heat for Caron Butler, Brian Grant, Lamar Odom, and a few picks.
Now the question is how many championships will Dwight Howard get himself and the Los Angeles Lakers?