The Los Angeles Lakers have selected Jalen Hood-Schifino with the No. 17 overall pick in the 2023 NBA Draft. Hood-Schifino was a one-and-done guard at the University of Indiana, where he averaged 13.5 points per game for a Hoosiers team that reached the NCAA tournament last season.
Hood-Schifino is a big guard with an inconsistent jump shot, but plenty of other tools. He may only be 6-4, but he has a 6-10 wingspan that will make him a very valuable defender with time. He's a strong pick-and-roll ball-handler, which is a skill that the Lakers emphasize in their ball-handlers, and like Austin Reaves, he knows how to operate in the mid-range.
The Lakers are coming off of a roller coaster of a season. After starting the year 2-10, they rallied to the Western Conference Finals after remaking their roster at the trade deadline. LeBron James and Anthony Davis remain in place, and Austin Reaves is almost a lock to be retained in free agency, but otherwise, the entire roster is in flux heading into free agency.
CBS Sports HQ Newsletter
Your Ultimate Guide to Every Day in Sports
We bring sports news that matters to your inbox, to help you stay informed and get a winning edge.
Thanks for signing up!
Keep an eye on your inbox.
There was an error processing your subscription.
Aside from Reaves, key role players D'Angelo Russell, Dennis Schroder, Rui Hachimura and Lonnie Walker will all hit free agency this offseason. Malik Beasley and Mo Bamba, on non-guaranteed deals, may also be gone. It is unclear at this point what direction the Lakers will take their roster as they attempt to win their 18th championship, but their recent scouting history is strong. Players like Reaves, Alex Caruso, Josh Hart, Kyle Kuzma, Larry Nance Jr. and Ivica Zubac have gone from relatively unheralded prospects to successful NBA players after beginning their careers with the Lakers.
Now Hood-Schifino will get that chance. He is the highest-drafted Laker since Lonzo Ball in 2017, and he will join a developmental infrastructure in Los Angeles that should be able to help him become the best player he can be. Finding minutes on a contender won't be easy, but the Lakers have done a good job using their G-League team to develop younger players in the past, and with time, Hood-Schifino should grow into a solid Laker.
Hood-Schifino showed in high school and college that he could be a role player, and that's important here. Still, he's a bit streaky as a scorer and especially as a shooter, which will be important for the Lakers immediately. The long-term play here is a nice player, but is he ready to contribute to a team that expects to be good now? Grade: B