It seems like the Lakers have high hopes for the 6-foot-6 20-year-old, and they appear to believe they can help him with his 3-point shot.
“We saw, again, just as a point of comparison, with a player like Austin Reaves, when we drafted him, he wasn’t a knockdown shooter,” Rob Pelinka said. “But he is now. It’s because he put in work — and work with our staff. And I know that’s something Jalen is committed to too.”
The Lakers reportedly believe Hood-Schifino can develop into a complementary fit next to Reaves, who is set to become a restricted free agent this offseason.
“The Lakers view Hood-Schifino as capable of playing either backcourt position and developing into a complementary fit next to restricted free agent Reaves, who the Lakers intend to re-sign this offseason,” wrote The Athletic’s Jovan Buha.
During his lone season with the Hoosiers, Hood-Schifino averaged 13.5 points, 4.1 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game while knocking down 41.7 percent of his shots from the field and 33.3 percent of his attempts from beyond the arc.
Some of his strengths include his defense and pick-and-roll ability on offense. His midrange jumper is great, and he also showed off some nice passing skills.
While he did shoot 33.3 percent from deep, it’s clear that he’s got to work on being more consistent in that department as there were some nights where he went really cold from downtown.
It’ll be interesting to see if Hood-Schifino and Reaves are actually teammates next season. With Reaves set to hit free agency, there’s a chance he winds up with a different team for the 2023-24 season.
Retaining Reaves is reportedly among the priorities for the Lakers this offseason, and it’s easy to understand why. He broke out in a big way toward the end of this season, putting in multiple 20-point outings in the playoffs.
Los Angeles made it all the way to the Western Conference Finals in the playoffs before getting swept by the eventual champion Denver Nuggets.
Hood-Schifino is surely hoping his rookie season gets at least that far and that he gets to contribute a decent amount to any team success.