Training camp kicked off this week for the Los Angeles Lakers with continuity as the organization retained its core players from last year’s team that made the Western Conference Finals. It’s a formula that the Lakers have strayed away from the past couple of seasons due to a revolving door of new players for LeBron James and Anthony Davis to get familiar with.
While the core pieces are back, there have been some new faces added to the roster during free agency and Lakers fans are curious to see how they pan out. L.A. continued to add to the roster in the draft, selecting Indiana guard Jalen Hood-Schifino at No. 17 overall in the first round.
Hood-Schifino is a tall guard at 6’5″ and is crafty with how he creates looks for himself, using his size to play solid perimeter defense. In Summer League, the 20-year-old certainly struggled, averaging 13.7 points while shooting 34% from the field, 21.7% from the 3 and 56.5% from the free throw line. Not the ideal start to his NBA career, but Hood-Schifino used the rest of the summer to get better and work on his game ahead of training camp.
Now that the first week of training camp is done, it was intriguing to see who were the top performers and surprisingly, the rookie was a common name. Head coach Darvin Ham has shared his praise for the guard and he now has caught the eye of Davis.
“I kind of knew about everyone. Jalen [Hood-Schifino] is one that stands out,” Davis said of the rookie. “I’ve said a couple times to a couple players and coaches that he can really play. He can play. He’s shifty with the basketball, reads the floor very well. He’s a solid player. So Jalen is probably the one that stands out the most.”
With the high stakes heading into the season and expectations of winning a championship, it would be surprising to see Hood-Schifino be a part of the rotation. However, it seems like he might be making a case for himself and has quickly caught the attention of his teammates and coaches.
Due to the number of veterans on this roster, it still may be hard for the guard to see consistent minutes on the floor, but he’ll get an opportunity during the preseason to translate his work during practice into a game. With the recent drafting success courtesy of Joey and Jesse Buss, it has become hard to question their selections and it seems Hood-Schifino will add to that.
Hood-Schifino stood out to D’Angelo Russell & Austin Reaves in Lakers’ first practice
As mentioned, Ham and Davis were not the only people who have been impressed by Hood-Schifino. D’Angelo Russell and Austin Reaves also believed the rookie stood out to them on the first day of training camp.
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