3 young stars the Lakers already regret passing on in the 2023 NBA Draft

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Jaime Jaquez Jr.

The biggest whiff that the Lakers had in the 2023 NBA Draft included a hometown prospect. UCLA's Jaime Jaquez Jr. was available when the Lakers were on the clock and the team passed on the forward even though he checked many boxes for LA.

Unlike Hood-Schifino, Jaquez had more collegiate experience and entered the league at 22 years old, which improved his ability to transition to the NBA style of play. Of all the players available with the 17th pick, Jaquez was the best bet to be a difference-maker in year one.

And that is exactly what he has been for the Miami Heat thus far. Miami took Jaquez with the 18th overall pick and the results have been great. Jaquez is playing over 30 minutes a game for the Heat and is averaging 13.9 points, 3.8 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.1 steals. Jaquez has .510/.360/.830 shooting splits and has been a serviceable defensive piece as well.

Some may say that Heat culture turned Jaquez into what he is and that might be part of it. If he was on the Lakers he probably wouldn't have been playing 30 minutes and averaging those kinds of numbers.

However, he definitely would have played a role on a team that needs offensive output out of the wings on the roster. And even if his role this year would have been smaller in LA than it was in Miami, his ceiling seems much higher than that of Hood-Schifino.

Gave up on. 22 players the Lakers gave up on too early. dark. Next