Lakers News: Jalen Hood-Schifino Calls Himself ‘All-Around Player’ Who Checks A Lot Of Boxes
Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

Although the Los Angeles Lakers were reportedly going to trade their first-round pick, they ended up staying pat and grabbing Jalen Hood-Schifino out of Indiana University.

Hood-Schifino was one of the best freshman in the country last season, winning Big 10 Freshman of the Year and leading Indiana to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. In his lone collegiate season, the guard averaged 13.5 points, 4.1 rebounds and 3.1 assists on 41.7% shooting from the field and 33.3% from the 3-point line.

The backcourt was a need for the Lakers as D’Angelo Russell and Dennis Schroder are set to hit unrestricted free agency, so Hood-Schifino checks the boxes for both talent and fit. As far as what he brings to the table, the rookie believes he’s a well-rounded player who can play both ends of the floor, via Mike Trudell of

“I’m an all-around player,” said JHS when asked about his game. “I check a lot of boxes. Obviously, a big guard. I feel I can score from all three levels. Really unselfish. Defensively, I can really guard any position. Me having a big, strong body I think is gonna help me guard guards, and bigger players. That’s one way I’m going to be able to separate myself and earn minutes as a rookie.”

Hood-Schifino indeed has all the qualities of a solid NBA guard given his two-way skillset. At 20 years old, the Indiana product has a knack for not getting sped up and playing at his tempo with the ball in his hands. There’s a certain veteran savvy to his game that fans will likely appreciate from day one.

How free agency shakes out for the Lakers could go a long way in determining how many minutes Hood-Schifino gets in his first year in the league. Los Angeles seems to be angling for a sign-and-trade involving Russell while Schroder is due for a pay raise after a solid year playing on a veteran minimum deal.

Regardless, the organization should be happy with getting Hood-Schifino and it’ll be fun to watch him make his purple and gold debut in the California Classic.

Jalen Hood-Schifino calls it surreal being drafted by Lakers after growing up a Kobe Bryant fan

Lakers fans will always appreciate a prospect who understands the history that comes with playing for the franchise and Hood-Schifino discussed what it meant to him to be drafted by the organization. He also endeared himself to the purple and gold faithful when he said he grew up a big Kobe Bryant fan.

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