Blake Hinson Cites JJ Redick & LeBron James As Why He Signed With Lakers

Shortly after the conclusion of the 2024 NBA Draft, the Los Angeles Lakers agreed to terms on a two-way contract with Pittsburgh forward Blake Hinson. The long-range sharpshooter went undrafted likely due to being 24 at the time of the draft, and now joins JJ Redick and LeBron James on the Lakers.

Hinson was a 3-point sniper in his final two college seasons at Pitt. He shot 38.0% on 7.1 attempts in his junior season and shot 42.1% on 7.9 attempts in his senior season. He made the All-ACC Second and First Team in his junior and senior season, respectively, and had the best 3-point percentage among qualified players in the ACC in his final college campaign.

With all those accolades, even at 24, it’s a surprise that he wasn’t drafted. But it’s possible that he is one of the players that chose to go undrafted in order to end up with a specific team. And if that’s the case, he cited very specific reasons for wanting to join L.A., as he told Lakers Nation’s Trevor Lane.

“As soon as JJ Redick got hired, first of all. Being a great catch-and-shoot person, being an awesome ACC player. I wanted to see if I could be a part of a program he was in control of, that he was the head of,” Hinson said. “So when he first got announced for the job, I thought in my head I really wish I could get an opportunity to be coached under one of the greatest catch-and-shooters ever.

“And then being in a place with such a playmaker like one of the best players ever in LeBron James. It would be a dream come true for a catch-and-shoot shooter like me to be coached by JJ Redick and play with the best playmaker ever. It was a no-brainer for me. So now I’m here trying to work my tail off to get to that point and hopefully I can provide some help.”

Getting to play alongside James is any shooter’s dream, as his gravity and playmaking usually brings the best out of catch-and-shoot players.

As for Redick, learning from a player that he would like to emulate in the NBA is a perfect situation. Hinson spoke about the conversation he has already had with Redick and any future talks the two might have.

“I had one conversation with JJ. It was a cool conversation,” Hinson said. “He clearly knew who I was which is awesome to me. That was really cool even though I assumed he did. But not much, he’s coming to Vegas, so he’ll probably be more involved then.”

As a two-way player, it’s unclear how much impact he figures to have in his rookie season. However, several players have been impact rotation pieces in Year 1, and Hinson has the right skillset to succeed on the rendition of the Lakers.

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