After days of speculation about the team potentially trading the pick, the Los Angeles Lakers ultimately stood pat with the 17th overall pick in the 2023 NBA Draft. With the team’s first first-round pick since 2018, the Lakers selected Indiana’s Jalen Hood-Schifino.
Hood-Schifino was not a household name heading into the draft and there are likely a lot of Lakers fans that don’t know much about the Indiana guard. Let’s dive into what Lakers fans can expect out of the 20-year-old point guard.
Jalen Hood-Schifino scouting report for Lakers fans:
The No. 1 thing that scouts and talent evaluators rave about with Hood-Schifino is his two-way presence. Hood-Schifino was one of the best two-way prospects in the draft this year and can instantly get minutes in his rookie season because of his effort on the defensive end.
Hood-Schifino’s size is going to translate well into the NBA as a six-foot-six guard with a six-foot-10 wingspan. He will need to bulk up a bit in the NBA but that is something that every NBA rookie goes through.
Offensively, Hood-Schifino showcased solid playmaking ability and can be a third or fourth ball-handler for the Lakers in the regular season. Los Angeles needs ball-handlers to take some of the pressure off of LeBron James and Hood-Schifino could provide that off the bench.
His shooting metrics were not the best in college but Hood-Schifino has a smooth jump shot that might translate well in the NBA. It will likely take time, but he is someone who can blossom as a shotmaker with the right NBA coaching and developmental plan.
Hood-Schifino has the ability to play right away for the purple and gold because of hie value on the defensive end and he will only continue to blossom as an offensive player. He may not be someone who logs playoff minutes come May, but as a regular-season depth piece, he is more than capable of making a difference.
Lakers fans are looking at a rookie that might be the new version of Talen Horton-Tucker. Defensively, the two guards are very similar with Hood-Schifino having a much higher offensive ceiling.