Thursday , Jun , 22 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Los Angeles Lakers 2006 Draft Preview

(Sports Network) – The Los Angeles Lakers returned to the playoffs after a
one-year absence. They finished 45-37 during the regular season, but lost in
seven games in the first round of the postseason to the Phoenix Suns.

Superstar Kobe Bryant had an unbelievable season, while head coach Phil
Jackson returned to the Lakers after a one-year hiatus. The Lakers also got
a decent season from forward Lamar Odom and a surprising campaign from
guard Smush Parker.

Bryant, who scored an unbelievable 81 points on January 22nd against Toronto,
led the league in scoring (35.4 ppg) this past season. He was a one-man show
and continued to build his legacy with his clutch performances.

Odom was second on the club in scoring (14.8 ppg) and led the Lakers in
rebounding (9.2 rpg) and assists (5.5 apg). The 6-4 Parker, who has also
played for Cleveland, Detroit and Phoenix, surprised most with his excellent
season, as he played in all 82 games for the Lakers and averaged 11.5 points
and 3.7 assists per contest.

Center Chris Mihm, forwards Kwame Brown, Brian Cook, Devean George and Luke
Walton contributed at times during the season and all play a big part as
Bryant’s supporting cast.

The Lakers are still trying to surround Bryant with the right mix of players.
Odom is one piece of the puzzle, while the club hopes Brown can develop into a
productive power forward.

The 26th overall pick in the first round is a place where the team will simply
draft tge best player available. The Lakers do have specific needs, as they
need help on the boards and could use a big man who can score around the
basket.

Key Player(s): Kwame Brown (Forward). Kobe Bryant (Guard), Forward), Brian
Cook (forward), Devean George (Forward), Chris Mihm (Center/Forward), Lamar
Odom (Forward), Smush Parker (Guard), Luke Walton (Forward).

Team Needs: Rebounding and a a big man who can score.

Draft picks: 1st round (26th overall), 2nd round (51st overall).

LAL