OVERVIEW: Backup center DJ Mbenga played only 23 games during the regular season and seven in the playoffs. He averaged 2.7 points and 1.3 rebounds during the regular season and 0.3 points and 0.4 rebounds in the playoffs. He was invaluable as a practice player, however, sharpening the skills of the Lakers’ big men. He battled with Andrew Bynum, Chris Mihm (before he was traded Feb. 18 to Memphis) and Pau Gasol in the paint all season during practices. They all were better for the competition.
QUOTEWORTHY: “They (the Lakers) are really happy the way I progressed. They believe and hope if I keep working, I can make more happen.”
STRENGTH: Size and strength are formidable weapons.
WEAKNESS: Still lacks polish at both ends of the floor.
CONTRACT STATUS: Signed through 2009-10 (team option).
Next: Adam Morrison.