LAKERS RE-SIGN DJ MBENGA

DJ MBENGA The Los Angeles Lakers have re-signed free agent center Didier “DJ” Ilunga-Mbenga, it was announced today by General Manager Mitch Kupchak.

Mbenga, a 7-foot, 255 pound native of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, signed a pair of 10-day contracts with the Lakers last season on January 21 and February 1 before signing for the remainder of the year on February 11.

In 26 games with the Lakers, Mbenga averaged 2.0 points, 1.7 rebounds and 0.62 blocked shots in 7.8 minutes while totaling four points and five rebounds in 10 minutes over seven postseason games.

Earlier in the season, Mbenga signed with the Golden State Warriors on November 17 after spending three seasons with the Dallas Mavericks prior to their request for waivers on him October 30. In 16 games with the Warriors prior to his release January 6, Mbenga averaged 1.2 points, 1.9 rebounds and 0.63 blocked shots in 8.1 minutes.

After signing with Dallas as a rookie free agent in 2004, Mbenga, 27, played 79 games over three seasons with the Mavericks, totaling 106 points, 75 rebounds and 35 blocked shots in 374 minutes. In his rookie year of 2004-05, he averaged 4.10 blocks per 48 minutes played while improving to 5.00 blocks per 48 minutes in 2005-06. In 2006-07 he was limited to just 21 games after missing the first 16 games of the year with a left foot tendon strain and suffering a torn right ACL 2/7/07 vs. Memphis.

In 121 career games including two starts, Mbenga is averaging 1.6 points, 1.2 rebounds and 0.50 blocked shots in 5.8 minutes.

The Lakers preseason roster now stands at 19.