Besides Austin Reaves balling out for Team USA and season two of “Winning Time”, there isn't a ton currently going on within the universe of the Los Angeles Lakers.

That said, we did recently see famous trade acquisition Pau Gasol get inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame, hear general manager Rob Pelinka once again reference the Lakers' “pre-agency” performance at the deadline, and can watch the Norm Nixon subplot unfold on HBO/Max/Whatever. So, #whynot (sorry) use this mid-August news drought to revisit the most successful trades in Lakers history?

Best Trades in Lakers History

Honorable Mentions

1969: Lakers trade Bill Hewitt and a 1970 third-round pick to the Detroit Pistons for Happy Hairston

In Nov. 1969, the Lakers sent out Hewitt, a marginal role player, for Hairston, who averaged 20.6 PPG and 12.5 RPG in 55 games around Jerry West, Wilt Chamberlain, and Elgin Baylor. Over the next five years, the power forward would average 14.3 PPG and 12.4 RPG and was a key contributor to the historic 1971-72 championship-winning squad.

1983: Lakers trade Norm Nixon and Eddie Jordan to the San Diego Clippers for Swen Nater and the draft rights to Byron Scott.

Nixon averaged 16.4 points and 7.9 assists from 1978-83, made an All-Star team in '82, and won two titles sharing a backcourt with Magic Johnson. By the time the 1982-83 season rolled out, he was ready to run his own backcourt again.

Lakers GM Jerry West made the first of two massive gambles on this list, sending the popular Nixon to a local rival for the recent No. 4 pick in the draft. Scott became the ideal Showtime running mate with Magic and helped the Lakers win three titles.

2023: Lakers trade Russell Westbrook, Juan Toscano-Anderson, Damian Jones, and a top-4 protected 2027 first-round pick to the Utah Jazz for Jarred Vanderbilt and Malik Beasley; also acquire D'Angelo Russell from the Minnesota Timberwolves

Miraculously, Pelinka maneuvered out of the untenable Westbrook pickle at the cost of only one pick and scored useful players in return. Vanderbilt, 24, is a Swiss Army knife defender who started 24 games as the Lakers surged. Russell, 27, helped lead the team to the conference finals. For 2023-24, both players are on team-friendly, easily-tradable contracts. Losing Westbrook represented addition-by-subtraction and cleared the way for Reaves to step into a larger play-making role.

10) 1970: Lakers trade Mel Counts to the Phoenix Suns for Gail Goodrich 

Goodrich spent his first three seasons with the Lakers before getting plucked in the expansion draft. He blossomed into an All-Star in Phoenix. Counts was a quality 4/5 who put up 12.3 PPG and 8.4 RPG with Los Angeles from 1968-1970. Goodrich became a four-time All-Star with the Lakers (22.5 PPG) and has his No. 25 hanging in the rafters.

9) 1981: Lakers trade a 1983 second-round pick to the New Jersey Nets for Bob McAdoo

McAdoo — a very cool, ahead-of-his-time combo big — had won a league MVP and scoring title, but he was available thanks to an unhappy situation in Jersey. The Lakers, looking to bolster their frontcourt depth, somehow netted McAdoo for a mere second-rounder.

McAdoo spent four seasons as a super-sub for the Lakers and won two rings.

8) 1987: Lakers trade Frank Brickowski and Peter Gudmundsson to the San Antonio Spurs for Mychal Thompson

In a similar fashion, Thompson was an accomplished veteran in a dispirited situation whom the Lakers targeted as a source of versatile, frontcourt juice behind an agig Abdul-Jabbar. Brickowski, a former No. 1 pick, and Gudmundsson were seldom-used role players.

West was able to strike the accord at the deadline, and Thompson would play an integral role in the  '87 and '88 title teams. (The organization also acquired a future deeply entertaining color commentator and tweeter.)

7) 2019: Lakers trade Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart, and three first-round picks for Anthony Davis

As great as AD is, this is the one trade on this list in which the Lakers slightly overpaid. Davis and his agent, Rich Paul, spent a year signaling to the league that AD was dead-set on Los Angeles and would sign there in free agency (reminder: it's nice to be the Lakers). And yet, the Pelicans were still able to wring an impressive haul featuring three excellent young players and hefty draft compensation. (The Pelicans have used one pick, on Dyson Daniels, and have the right to swap with the Lakers in 2024 or 2025.)

Did the Lakers misplay their leverage a tad? Maybe. But, considering Davis delivered a title right away and is now locked up through 2027, I think they feel just fine about how things went down.

6) 1980: Lakers trade Don Ford and a first-round pick to the Cleveland Cavaliers for Butch Lee and a first-round pick (James Worthy)

Back in the day, teams casually threw around picks like burrito wrappers into a trash can. Cleveland finished with the worst record in the league in 1981, and, with the help of a coin toss, the Lakers — one year removed from a title — secured the no. 1 overall pick. Los Angeles selected Worthy, and the rest is history.

Ford and Lee were out of the NBA before the 1982-83 season.

5) 2008: Lakers trade Kwame Brown, Jarvaris Crittenton, Aaron McKie, the draft rights to Marc Gasol, and two first-round picks to the Memphis Grizzlies for Pau Gasol and a second-round pick 

We all know this story (read the Los Angeles Times oral history for a fun refresher): The Lakers were amidst a surprise 2007-08 campaign atop the conference when Andrew Bynum got hurt. The Grizzlies were looking to jumpstart a rebuild.

In a shocking transaction that incensed folks around the league (especially Mark Cuban and Gregg Popovich), Lakers GM Mitch Kupchack acquired Gasol, a perfect compliment to Kobe Bryant — on and off the court — and a seamless fit in Phil Jackson's Triangle Offense. The Lakers would make the 2008 Finals and win the next two championships. Gasol's No. 16 hangs in the Arena rafters.

(The deal aged relatively well for Memphis. Marc became a franchise cornerstone and the salary-shedding enabled the Grizzlies to set up the beloved “Grit N' Grind” era.)

4) 1968: Lakers trade Darrall Imhoff, Archie Clark, and Jerry Chambers to the Philadelphia 76ers for Wilt Chamberlain

Chamberlain was past his prime when he got his wish to play in Los Angeles, but he still had plenty left in the tank. Alongside West, Goodrich, and Elgin Baylor, the Lakers made the Finals in 1969, 1970, 1972, and 1973, winning the title in '72 (sans Baylor). Chamberlain won Finals MVP at 35. In his five years in Los Angeles, Wilt averaged 17.7 PPG, 19.2 RPG and became a beach volleyball lord.

Meanwhile, Clark made a few All-Star teams, while Imhoff and Chambers were soon out of the league.

3) 1974: Lakers trade Elmore Smith, Brian Winters, Dave Meyers, and Junior Bridgeman to the Milwaukee Bucks for Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

Kareem had reached two Finals, won a title, and was firmly established as the best player in the world when he returned to his college town of Los Angeles.

The Lakers didn't exactly give up nothing. Smith had a couple more years as an elite shot blocker. Winters played seven seasons in Milwaukee and made two All-Star teams. Bridgeman produced nine quality seasons with the Bucks and like, Winters, has his jersey retired by the franchise.

Cap went on to win five titles and three MVPs with the Lakers.

This trade will forever serve as a reminder that recouping requisite value for generational superstars is impossible.

2) 1996: Lakers trade Vlade Divac to the Charlotte Hornets for the draft rights to Kobe Bryant 

In July of '96, Jerry West, the GOAT of NBA executives, spearheaded arguably the greatest month in the history of roster-building (Pat Riley's July 2010 wasn't too shabby).

Kobe, the reigning National High School Player of the Year, was drafted no. 13 overall and would've gone earlier had his reps not vocalized his preference to wind up in Los Angeles (West successfully persuaded the Nets to pass on Kobe at No. 8). On July 1, the Hornets accepted Divac for Bryant.

In retrospect, this trade was an all-time slam-dunk, but it was a substantial risk. Divac was a proven commodity who had spent five years as a well-above-average center for the Lakers. Kobe was a precocious 17-year-old. (West was floored by Bryant's pre-draft workout.)

17 days later, the Lakers signed Shaquille O'Neal to a seven-year, $121 million contract.

1) 1976: Lakers receive a 1979 first-round pick (Magic Johnson) from the New Orleans Jazz in exchange for the rights to sign Gail Goodrich

Back in the day, clubs received draft compensation when they lost a free agent. In 1976, Goodrich sought a change of scenery, and the Lakers got a future pick for enabling his move to NOLA.

By 1978-79, Goodrich was washed and the Jazz bottomed out. The Lakers won another coin toss and landed the top pick. Their selection of Magic changed, well, everything.