The Los Angeles Lakers have been one of the best teams in the NBA in finding talent in unconventional ways and developing that talent. Whether it be late in the NBA Draft or via undrafted signings, there are few teams in the league that do it better than the Lake Show.
That is why Lakers fans are getting so excited about the two new players the team welcomed in the 2023 NBA Draft. Jalen Hood-Schifino was selected with the 17th overall pick while Maxwell Lewis somehow fell to the Lakers at pick 40.
History says that the Lakers would be lucky if just one of these guys turned into a rotation player but that has not stopped the excitement from the fanbase. In fact, Lakers fans have been getting riled up based on the comparisons that Hood-Schifino is already getting before lacing it up for the purple and gold.
Jalen Hood-Schifino is already getting compared to Lakers fan favorite Austin Reaves
Any time you bring up Austin Reaves when talking about a new player’s development it is going to cause fans to perk up. Reaves has arguably become the most popular player among Lakers diehards and any sort of comparison is as good as it gets for a new Laker.
JHS isn’t an identical player to Reaves but there could be a similar developmental path for the new Laker. He comes into the league with a bigger defensive ceiling than Reaves but the playmaking ability for others is already more advanced than Reaves.
Reaves was already more of a shot-maker coming into the league but as Pelinka alludes to, JHS could see his shot-making develop in a rapid pace like Reaves’ did. Who knows, maybe JHS will be the one taking over the fourth quarter in a playoff game two seasons from now.
That was not the only thing that caused the comparison to Reaves, though. When speaking to the media, JHS revealed that he grew up a Kobe Bryant fan. Do you know who was a massive Kobe Bryant fan? Austin Reaves.
Reaves’ future with the Lakers is still unclear as he enters restricted free agency but it is good for fans to know that the team sees some kind of similarities between JHS and Reaves. If they indeed are similar, JHS will too be a fan favorite in no time.