NBA Draft: 13 times the LA Clippers left stars on the board

LA Clippers NBA Draft Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
LA Clippers NBA Draft Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports /
9 of 14
Kobe Bryant
Kobe Bryant Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

8. 1996 NBA Draft

Clippers Select: Lorenzen Wright (8)

Still on the Board: Kobe Bryant (13), Peja Stojakovic (14), Steve Nash (15), Jermaine O’Neal (17)

The Lakers pulled off one of the greatest trades of all-time when they were able to convince the Charlotte Hornets to trade 13th overall pick Kobe Bryant for Vlade Divac. The high school prodigy and son of former NBA player Joe “Jelly Bean” Bryant was the apple of the Lakers’ eye after a legendary workout with the team, and they wanted to make sure they got their man.

But first, he had to fall to the Hornets.

Twelve other teams, including the Clippers, passed up on the future-Hall-of-Famer, who would go on to have one of the most decorated careers in NBA history. Bryant would earn 18 All-Star appearances, 15 All-NBA teams, 12-time All-Defensive team, five-time NBA champion, two-time scoring champion, and the 2007-08 MVP. He’s on most short lists for greatest players in the history of the game.

In addition to missing out on Bryant, the Clippers left Peja Stojakovic, Steve Nash, and Jermaine O’Neal on the board to draft Lorenzen Wright out of Memphis.

Nash went on to win two MVP awards with the Suns and being named an All-Star eight times with seven All-NBA team appearances in his Hall of Fame Career.

Stojakovic became a sharpshooter for the great Sacramento Kings teams of the early 2000s and was a three-time All-Star and once named to the All-NBA team. He eventually became an NBA champion with the 2010-11 Dallas Mavericks.

O’Neal was a six-time All-Star and three-time All-NBA team member over the course of his 18-year NBA career. He was a leader on the Indiana Pacers for almost the entirety of the 2000s before finishing his career with stints in Miami, Boston, Phoenix, and Golden State.

Wright spent three seasons with the Clippers before being traded to the Atlanta Hawks in 1999. He was traded to the Grizzlies in 2001, returned to the Hawks as a free agent in 2006, was traded to the Kings in 2008 and finished out his career as a Cleveland Cavalier.