Player Capsule: Luke Walton

Contract Status: under contract

Minor injuries nagged Walton all season long, resulting in a seven point, four rebound average that was well below the career marks he set the year before as one of the primary offensive weapons for the team. Despite his often inconsistent play, Coach Jackson showed a lot of faith in Luke, still opting to have him on the floor during some of the most critical moments of this year’s Finals run. Walton rewarded him by his much improved play down the stretch, proving why he was an excellent fit within the Lakers’ vaunted passing game.

After a full offseason of healing, Walton should return for the 2008-09 season ready to make a more regular contribution to a bench that will rely on his diverse playmaking abilities. Although he is known to fill up the stat sheet, the soon-to-be fifth year forward still has several weaknesses in his game that needs to be addressed, starting with his still inconsistent outside shot and his overall defense.