Accomplishments: 11x All-Star, 10x All-NBA, 1959 All-Star Game Co-MVP, 50th Anniversary All-Time Team, 1959 Rookie of the Year
Stats: 27.4 PPG, 9.0 RPG, 4.3 APG
Finals appearances: 8 (1959, 1962, 1963, 1965, 1966, 1968, 1969, 1970)
The man who saved the Lakers. The franchise was on the verge of bankruptcy when they signed Elgin Baylor to a $20,000 contract (which was huge back then) after a 19-53 season. Baylor's talent helped the team's record improve by 14 the next season. The crowd attendance rose, the Lakers became perennial competitors, and Baylor's slick shooting and ridiculous numbers cemented him into Hall of Fame glory.
In his peak years (1960-63), Baylor averaged 34.8, 38.3, and 34.0 points per game. His 61 points in Game 5 of the 1962 NBA Finals is still the most in the league's history. It's also worth noting that in that season, Baylor got called into active duty by the Army and could only play on a weekend pass. He still scored 1,836 points that year. The man had the rebounding skills to match, too. He averaged 19.8 rebounds per game in his third season as if he wasn't aware he was 6-foot-5.
There's a stat we're sure he'd want to change though: He made eight finals appearances without a single ring to show for it. Of course, the Lakers would win a championship in his first year of retirement.