Due to the competitive nature of the Los Angeles Lakers, the need for young talent has taken a backseat with LeBron James and Anthony Davis leading the way in recent seasons. But it hasn’t stopped Joey and Jesse Buss of the scouting department from finding diamonds in the rough for the new iteration of the team when James decides to leave or retire.
The most recent example is Austin Reaves, who was undrafted and signed a two-way deal with the team before formally getting signed to a standard contract to now earning himself a new contract and being a building block for years to come. Hopefully that will be the case for Jalen Hood-Schifino, the Lakers’ No. 17 pick this summer.
The 20-year-old comes into an environment where he gets to learn from James and Davis as well as the other veterans on the roster. Hood-Schifino talked about his first interaction with James, via Jovan Buha of The Athletic:
“Yeah, I met him. It was recently, like a couple weeks ago. We were working out. He worked out before me. I was working out right after him, I got on the court and he just came up to me and said, ‘Hi.’ It was the first time meeting each other, so he dapped me up, asked how I was doing and everything, and that was pretty much it really.”
Hood-Schifino’s Summer League play featured ups and downs, showcasing that he’ll need some time to develop in the Lakers’ system. Since there are no expectations for Hood-Schifino in his rookie season, it may actually bode well for him to continue to get better and be ready for whenever his number gets called.
The former Hoosier will potentially have the same route as Max Christie, who was mostly on the bench and saw limited action in his rookie campaign. However, Christie got to showcase what he could do this summer and at the very least earned himself a chance to be a part of the rotation this season.
While the Lakers always have championship expectations and a lot of pressure, the 6’6″ guard will ease himself into the NBA lifestyle and be able to learn from one of the greatest of all-time. It is safe to say that Hood-Schifino will learn a lot this upcoming season, whether he is on the court or not.
Hood-Schifino making progress with 3-point shot
With his spot in the rotation seemingly being limited, Hood-Schifino is still putting in the work to adapt his game to the NBA level. In his lone season in Indiana, the guard shot 33.3% from 3 and he has made it an emphasis to work on his jump shot in hopes of increasing that percentage this season.
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