After winning the championship during the 2009-2010 season, the Los Angeles Lakers have struggled to find their way back into the NBA Finals in the 9 years that followed. Despite going through some of its lowest points in recent years, the Lakers brand is still one of the most recognizable in the world, let alone the NBA.
Though winning hasn't been consistent, the franchise has seen a good number of players give it their all over those years. Let's look at and rank the 10 best Los Angeles Lakers of the last decade.
10 Anthony Davis
Despite playing a single game in the purple and gold of the Lakers there's a case to be made that Anthony Davis simply being on the roster is one of the best moments for the Lakers in the last decade. Not only is Davis arguably the best big man in the NBA, but he's also a Top 7 player regardless of position.
The hope for Lakers fans is that he signs a long term deal at the end of the season. By doing so it ensures that the franchise has some promise immediately following LeBron James departure or retirement in the coming years.
9 Andrew Bynum
Andrew Bynum is a sore spot for Lakers fans as the double-double rebounding machine turned in two really good seasons with the team following all of his knee issues.
Following his best season, the team decided to package him in a 4-team deal that sent Dwight Howard over to Los Angeles and had Bynum on a flight to Philadelphia to join the 76ers. The big guy would go on to play for several teams, never finding the success he had in the purple and gold. Bynum hasn't played in the league since 2014.
8 Brandon Ingram
Brandon Ingram was a solid player and to this day still has a lot of promise in terms of what he can become as a player in the NBA. In his 3 seasons with the Los Angeles Lakers Ingram's stats improved year over year as his hard work was paying off.
Unfortunately for him, he suffered a possible career-changing medical issue when he was ruled out for the remainder of the 2018-2019 season with a deep vein thrombosis in his arm. Here's hoping he makes his way back onto the court for the New Orleans Pelicans.
7 Nick Young
The NBA tends to have flash-in-the-pan type players ever so often that take the league by storm for a season or two then disappear off the map. This is why consistency is lauded in the NBA and why superstar players are so coveted.
In his 4 years with the Los Angeles Lakers, Nick Young had one really good year, two okay seasons, and one that he'd rather forget. He currently isn't signed to an NBA roster and most recently played 4 games for the Denver Nuggets in 2018 before they cut him from the team.
6 Kyle Kuzma
Out of all of the young and promising prospects the Los Angeles Lakers have had in recent years Kyle Kuzma is the only one to survive the turnover. In his first two seasons, he's improved year over year and has shown the ability to be a reliable third scoring option that could help a team make a deep playoff run.
He'll likely be the starting lineup this coming year and will look to help LeBron James and Anthony Davis make a playoff push. He's currently averaging 17 points and 6 rebounds a game for his career.
5 Julius Randle
Julius Randle's biggest struggle in the NBA during his young career had been injuries and his overall health. After showing steady progression for the Los Angeles Lakers as his points per game went from 11 to over 16 while never averaging less than 8 rebounds a game, he's set to prove himself in a New York Knicks uniform.
His one year with the New Orleans Pelicans last year showed what he could do when he's healthy and in shape as he put up over 21 points a game and 9 rebounds.
4 LeBron James
Though his first year in Los Angeles had him missing the NBA playoffs for the first time in 13 years, LeBron James managed to fight through the injuries and put up some great numbers. Despite what sports media likes to push as a story LeBron James turned in a year where he averaged 27 points, 7 rebounds, and 7 assists per game.
A good number of people would argue that stat lines are meaningless if your team's losing, but the organization failed to put a competitive roster around the NBA's aging best player.
3 Lou Williams
Lou Williams may have only played two years with the Los Angeles Lakers, but he managed to win the NBA Sixth Man of the Year award the year before joining them, and also the two years following his departure to the Los Angeles Clippers.
During his time in the purple and gold, he averaged 17 points per game, posted his best free throw shooting percentage of his career, as well as his best 3-point shooting percentage of his career. He may not be remembered as a Laker when he calls it quits, but he gave them all he had.
2 Pau Gasol
Just like Shaquille O'Neal, Pau Gasol managed to be the type of big inside that helped Kobe Bryant win another championship. Now, Gasol isn't anywhere near Shaq's level in terms of dominance, but the Spanish giant was no slouch when he wore the Lakers jersey.
In the years that followed his great championship run alongside Kobe, Pau managed to average around 17 points and 10 rebounds per game. Between his departure following the 2014 season and the recent acquisition of Anthony Davis, the frontcourt situation hasn't been great.
1 Kobe Bryant
Whenever people discuss who belongs on the Los Angeles Lakers all-time team it's hard not to include Kobe Bryant despite the storied history of the franchise. In many ways, he's seen as the Michael Jordan of the west coast and will be an icon for the rest of time in the world of the NBA.
He may have suffered injuries and playoff heartbreaks in the years that followed his last championship, but he never stopped competing. Whether you're a Jordan, James, or Bryant guy it's hard to argue that he wasn't the best Laker of the last decade.