Lakers Rumors: Missouri Guard D’Moi Hodge Signed To Two-Way Contract Following 2023 NBA Draft
Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

The 2023 NBA Draft is officially in the books and the Los Angeles Lakers have to feel good about how the board fell their way.

After some speculation that the Lakers were going to move their first-round pick, the team stayed put and took combo guard Jalen Hood-Schifino out of Indiana University. Then in the second round at No. 40, Los Angeles took 3-and-D wing Maxwell Lewis out of Pepperdine University.

Both Hood-Schifino and Lewis check several boxes that the Lakers needed on their roster and the rookie pair could very well compete for minutes right away depending what happens in free agency. Los Angeles will likely lean on their veterans and experienced players throughout the 2023-24 season, but Hood-Schifino and Lewis appear to be quality long-term pieces.

With the draft over, teams immediately rushed to sign players that went undrafted and the Lakers wasted no time coming to terms with D’Moi Hodge, via Dan Woike of L.A. Times:

Hodge is an older prospect at 24 years old, but has real 3-and-D qualities that make him an interesting flier for the Lakers. Although they took two perimeter-oriented players in the draft, Hodge adds even more outside shooting as he connected on 40% of his threes on 7.1 attempts a game. Defensively, the Missouri guard is a menace at the point of attack as he possesses quick hands and is able to disrupt opposing ball handlers who try to get past him.

Los Angeles hasn’t been afraid to gamble on older rookies and that has paid dividends as they’ve unearthed gems like Alex Caruso and Austin Reaves. Hodge didn’t draw much buzz during the draft process, but there’s no denying that he has NBA-level skills that could help almost any team in the league.

Signing someone like Hodge to a two-way is a low-risk move for the purple and gold who could very well have found another contributor outside of the draft.

Lakers sign Colin Castleton to two-way contract

Right before agreeing to terms with Hodge, the Lakers’ first move in undrafted free agency was to sign Florida center Colin Castleton to a two-way contract.

Castleton was projected to be a late second-round pick, but lands in a good spot in Los Angeles who needs more front court depth behind Anthony Davis. While not a floor spacer, Castleton plays with great energy and is a deterrent at the rim.

The NBA now allows three two-way contracts, so the Lakers’ will be Castleton, Hodge and Cole Swider, who signed a two-year deal a year ago.

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