Report: Lakers drafted Jalen Hood-Schifino as potential replacement for Austin Reaves

David Akerman
3 Min Read

The Los Angeles Lakers reportedly drafted Jalen Hood-Schifino with the 17th overall pick in the 2023 NBA Draft as a potential replacement for Austin Reaves.

“It remains to be seen how free agency will play out in the coming days, but according to league sources, the Lakers’ two top targets in the 2023 NBA Draft were Hood-Schifino and Kobe Bufkin, another guard who was selected 15th overall by the Atlanta Hawks just two picks before L.A.,” wrote Daniel Starkand of Lakers Nation.

“The reason the Lakers were so high on both guards is they saw them as potential replacements for Reaves should an offer sheet price them out of bringing the restricted free agent back, league sources tell Lakers Nation.”

Los Angeles apparently believes that Hood-Schifino can become a complementary fit next to Reaves, but it is seemingly preparing for the possibility of Reaves signing elsewhere this offseason.

Reaves, an impending restricted free agent, has been linked to a number of teams across the league, including the Houston Rockets and San Antonio Spurs.

In his two seasons with the Lakers, Reaves has become a very valuable player. This past season, he recorded 13.0 points, 3.0 rebounds and 3.4 assists per game while knocking down 52.9 percent of his shots from the field and 39.8 percent of his attempts from beyond the arc.

During his lone season at Indiana University, Hood-Schifino averaged 13.5 points, 4.1 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game while making 41.7 percent of his shots from the field and 33.3 percent of his tries from 3-point range.

His defense and pick-and-roll skills are two of his biggest strengths. The 20-year-old’s midrange shot is deadly, and he also has a knack for finding teammates in open spots.

It’s easy to see why the Lakers drafted him as a possible Reaves replacement. He can do lots of the same things that Reaves has excelled at over the past two seasons.

Of course, Hood-Schifino might not immediately have the same impact that Reaves has had during his Lakers tenure, but he figures to be a big part of the team’s short-term and long-term success.

While it’s good to have a backup plan, it seems like Reaves isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Free agency is set to get underway on Friday afternoon, so it’ll be interesting to see if any news about Reaves’ future comes out then.

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David is a University of Maryland graduate who has spent most of his life in Miami. He has experience in writing, editing and video production. He is a proud contributor of Lakers Daily.