Remembering When The Lakers selected Magic Johnson with the 1st pick of the 79 draft & how they ended up with the 1st pick
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Despite playing only two years of college ball (that doesn’t sound like a big deal now) at Michigan State, the LA Lakers made one of the easiest and best decisions in NBA history when they used their #1 pick in the 1979 draft to select Earvin “Magic” Johnson.
The Lakers didn’t have to wait very long for the selection to pay off: Magic was an All-Star starter and averaged an impressive 18 points, 8 rebounds and 7 assists during his rookie campaign that ended with a championship and Johnson becoming the only rookie in NBA history to ever win the NBA Finals MVP award. If all that wasn’t great enough, the Lakers ended up with Magic because of one of the most lopsided trades in NBA history.
August 5, 1976: Traded by the New Orleans Jazz (as a future 1979 1st round draft pick) with a 1977 1st round draft pick (Kenny Carr was later selected), a 1978 1st round draft pick (Freeman Williams was later selected) and a 1980 2nd round draft pick (Sam Worthen was later selected) to the Los Angeles Lakers for a 1977 2nd round draft pick (Essie Hollis was later selected) and a 1978 1st round draft pick (Jack Givens was later selected). This exchange was arranged as compensation for Utah signing veteran free agent Gail Goodrich on July 19, 1976.
Johnson would also bring LA four more NBA championships during his journey on becoming the most liked and successful Laker of all-time.
You can learn more about the lopsided traded in the following video by BBallBreakdown.