The Lakers practically fleeced the Bucks and the Sixers in their trades for acquiring both Wilt Chamberlain and Kareem Abdul Jabbar.
The Los Angeles Lakers seem to have a thing for acquiring all-time big men as they’ve had one in nearly every single decade of their existence. The 1950s were dominated by George Mikan and the Minneapolis Lakers and the 60s, 70s, and 80s saw the purple and gold win titles with Wilt Chamberlain and Kareem Abdul Jabbar in the paint.
One important distinction is that Mikan was drafted by the Lakers after each team in the NBA at the time was given a 9.09% chance to snag him. Wilt Chamberlain and Kareem Abdul Jabbar were traded for by the LA goliath in a time where they looked to replicate the magic of the late 40s and early 50s Minneapolis teams.
How the Lakers ended up with Wilt Chamberlain.
Wilt Chamberlain ran into the same brick wall for the first half of his career nearly every single season: Bill Russell. Despite averaging 50 points in one season and 38 in another, his Warriors teams never seemed to get over the Celtics hump. There were a multitude of factors contributing to this but mainly, it was due to his selfish desire to rack up points, resulting in unhappy teammates and lack of chemistry.
The Warriors traded him to the Sixers and the 1967 season saw Wilt claim his first ever championship. In this Playoff run of his, he would best both the Warriors and the Celtics. Following this tremendous season, Chamberlain would again fail to beat Russell to win another chip and Philly would end up trading Wilt to the Lakers in 1968.
The trade sent Wilt Chamberlain to Tinseltown and Philly received Jerry Chambers, Archie Clark, and Darrall Imhoff. Chambers would never play a game for Philly while Clark was traded for a borderline All-Star in Fred Carter and veteran, Kevin Loughery.
In LA, Wilt would win merely one more title and it would be in 1972 as the Lakers bested the New York Knicks in 5 games. He would average 19.4 points and 23.2 rebounds in this series.
How the Lakers ended up with Kareem Abdul Jabbar.
As if having Wilt Chamberlain wasn’t enough, the Lakers looked to trade for established Bucks big-man, Kareem Abdul Jabbar a couple years following Wilt’s retirement. More so than LA seeking out Kareem, the 1971 Finals MVP was disgruntled with the lack of help surrounding him and asked for a trade after losing in the 1974 NBA Finals.
The Bucks granted this wish as they sent him to Los Angeles and in return, acquired Junior Bridgeman (played 10 years with the Bucks, averaging a solid 14 points), Dave Meyers, Elmore Smith, and, and Brian Winters. Winters would turn into a 2x All-Star while Smith was flipped for a couple first round picks.
Success didn’t find Kareem Abdul Jabar and the Lakers right away but upon Magic Johnson’s arrival in 1980, Los Angeles would claim 5 championships in the 1980s.