The team officially announced the pick shortly after it was reported:
Welcome to the Purple & Gold, Jalen Hood-Schifino! pic.twitter.com/DdMu3PKML9— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) June 23, 2023
With the 17th pick in the 2023 Draft, the Lakers select Jalen Hood-Schifino. The 20-year-old is a big guard (6’5’’) who was the Big 10 Freshman of the Year in his one season at Indiana (13.5 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 3.7 apg, 0.8 spa in 33.1 mpg.).— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) June 23, 2023
The Lakers are also keeping Hood-Schifino, according to Dan Woike of The Los Angeles Times. This is not the precursor to a trade:
After discussing various trade scenarios, sources say the Lakers are keeping the pick. Hood-Schifino will be a Laker. https://t.co/xuhEZj35yH— Dan Woike (@DanWoikeSports) June 23, 2023
The team has already posted video from Hood-Schifino’s pre-draft workout with them:
While Cam Whitmore was an intriguing name that slid down the board during the draft reportedly due to concerns about injuries, Hood-Schifino was the player the Lakers targeted.
The Lakers did not originally announce their workout with Hood-Schifino. On Wednesday before the draft though, he confirmed he worked out for them in the predraft process.
A one-and-done with the Indiana Hoosiers last season, Hood-Schifino is a combo guard that played most of last season as a point guard. A ball-dominant guard with a smooth mid-range jumper, Hood-Schifino excelled in the mid-range all season long in Indiana.
For those interested, spoke to the guys about JHS and his fit with the Lakers. Was a great conversation— Jacob Rude (@JacobRude) June 23, 2023
Needless to say, I'm super excited. https://t.co/pUMCMSWIAs
Defensively, Hood-Schifino will be able to defend right away for the Lakers. He’s a solid point of attack defender with a plus wingspan. At the draft combine, he measured with a wingspan of 6’10.25” while standing 6’4.25” without shoes. He’s good good size that should allow him to defend multiple positions.
His feel for the game is also a positive. While he had some turnover issues, they were more freshman mistakes than anything else. He is a high-IQ player that should be able to play for a contender like the Lakers early on.
He also performed in some really big moments for the Hoosiers, whether on the road against a rival when he dropped a season-high 35 points. He also had a number of big shots late in games and is a very composed player in big pressure situations.
His combination of size, defense, ball-handling, and scoring ability inside the arc means he could play alongside the likes of Austin Reaves or D’Angelo Russell, if he is a Laker next season.
If you want a deeper look at his game, I wrote about him in the predraft process about why he could be the perfect pick for the Lakers at No. 17. SB Nation writer Ricky O’Donnell wasn’t quite as high on the pick, giving it a C+ grade with the following analysis:
Hood is a huge 6’6 guard who can make plays out of the pick-and-roll and while offering pull-up shooting potential. He’s not a great athlete, and didn’t get many easy buckets as a freshman for Indiana, which is one reason he struggled to score efficiently at times. I had Hood-Schifino ranked outside my top-30, but the NBA teams were reportedly always higher on him. His upsides rests on him turning into a knockdown pull-up shooter off the dribble, but I’m not super encouraged by his college tape or percentages. The Lakers did need a guard and if this saves them from giving D’Angelo Russell a big contract, it could be worth it.
This move could signal that the Lakers may not feel confident about retaining Dennis Schröder this offseason. With Russell’s future with the Lakers also unclear, Hood-Schifino could serve as some insurance heading into the summer.
You can follow Jacob on Twitter at @JacobRude.