With the Lakers chasing a title this upcoming season fans may not see the rookie combo guard playing much. While he will log some regular season minutes, it would be very surprising if he plays any kind of role for the team in the NBA Playoffs.
That being said, just because his rookie year won’t be big doesn’t mean he isn’t a good prospect. There is a lot to love about Hood-Schifino, especially considering where the team drafted him. There are several players that went ahead of him in the lottery that simply are not as talented.
Lakers’ Jalen Hood-Schifino will be better than these three lottery picks from the 2023 NBA Draft:
Jett Howard – Drafted 11th overall to the Orlando Magic
We could not do an article like this without mentioning Jett Howard, who was the most surprising draft pick of the entire 2023 NBA Draft. Many analysts believe that this was a massive reach by the Orlando Magic with Howard not even being the best player from Michigan in the draft.
The intrigue around Howard as a prospect is his ability to knock down shots and in a perfect world, he could instantly come into the league as an off-ball scoring threat for Orlando. The problem is that he was already a poor defender in college and that is only going to be worse at the NBA level.
Howard is going to get plenty of chances to play for a young Magic team that is trying to turn the culture around. But considering Orlando already had another pick in the top 10, it is curious as to why the team would take Howard and not take the chance on someone like Cam Whitemore.
Dereck Lively II – Drafted 12th overall by the Dallas Mavericks
There are aspects about Dereck Lively II’s game that would have fit well on the Lakers and quite frankly, if he was there with the 17th pick the Lakers may have considered taking him. As far as a fit this upcoming season, Lively makes more sense.
Lively is a big, lengthy center that can space the floor with his jump shot. That is exactly what the Lakers are currently looking to add in free agency. That being said, from an overall talent perspective, JHS is the better prospect.
Lively seemingly has the physical traits to succeed but his college production was very lackluster and could be a concern. It may take years for him to develop as an NBA big and as teams have shown, they often do not have the patience for this kind of project (look at Mo Bamba).
Jordan Hawkins – Drafted 14th overall to the New Orleans Pelicans
The Anthony Davis trade from four years ago got even better for the Lakers as the team had a better selection than the New Orleans Pelicans, meaning that the pick swap in 2023 was a moot point. With the 14th overall pick, the Pelicans selected someone who the Lakers definitely won’t regret missing out on.
As is the case with all of these first-round picks, there are promising areas of Hawkins’ game that the Pelicans are going to sell themselves on. His three-point shooting is very tantalizing as he made 38.8% of his threes at a very high clip in college last season.
That being said, Hawkins is a guard that may end up getting bullied as a two-guard in the NBA and does not have the playmaking to be a point guard. He will get minutes solely because of his ability to knock down shots but Hawkins has a long way to go with his game (and his frame) before NBA fans can comfortably say he is a playoff guy.