Contact Form

    News Details

    Lakers’ Jalen Hood-Schifino progressing as floor general, defender
    • July 9, 2023

    LAS VEGAS — Lakers first-round draft pick Jalen Hood-Schifino knew it would take time to adjust from the collegiate game to the professional level.

    But even after three summer-league games, progress has already been made.

    “Every game I’ve gotten better and been more under control, playing my game more,”  Hood-Schifino said after the team’s Saturday practice. “Overall, it’s been good.”

    Hood-Schifino’s stat line from Friday’s win over the Golden State Warriors, while well-rounded, doesn’t jump off the page: nine points, five rebounds, four steals, three assists and a block.

    It was his first game not scoring in double figures during summer league.

    But Hood-Schifino’s offensive impact goes deeper than his scoring numbers.

    The Lakers are looking for him to be a steady ball handler and playmaker. That’s where the progress is being made.

    “The beginning of game one [against the Heat], he was a little passive,” forward Cole Swider said. “Then, he got super aggressive and I think [Friday] he found that medium.

    “He wasn’t as efficient as he may have wanted to be, but he was able to find guys, he was passing, getting other guys involved. He was a floor general, more than anything.”

    Hood-Schifino didn’t record a turnover in the 29 minutes he played Friday. He had three giveaways in the 29 minutes he played in the summer league-opening loss to the Warriors and five in his 31 minutes against the Spurs.

    Being aggressive, getting downhill and creating scoring opportunities for his teammates is what the Lakers are emphasizing for him offensively.

    But defensively is what the Lakers are looking for the most – and what will give Hood-Schifino the best chance of cracking the rotation once the 2023-24 season starts.

    “We challenged him and [second-year guard Max Christie] to take the defensive matchup,” Lakers assistant and summer-league coach JD DuBois said. “And that’s going to be his calling card early. Can you guard point of attack, get into the ball, pursue and guard without fouling?

    “As long as he can progress in those areas, we have enough guys on offense to where he’ll be able to fit in. Defense will be that foundation for him.”

    DuBois has liked what he’s seen from Hood-Schifino defensively while acknowledging improvements can be made.

    “We’re happy with it, but we always know there’s improvement in that,” DuBois added. “And that comes with reps. Understanding the coverages, the actions and the speed of the game. There’s a normal lack of understanding just because he’s three games in.”

    Rookie signings

    The Lakers signed Hood-Schifino and Maxwell Lewis to their rookie contracts Saturday.

    The NBA’s collective bargaining agreement includes rookie-scale contracts for first-round picks based on where the player is drafted.

    First-round picks sign four-year deals, with the first two seasons fully guaranteed and the final two being team options. Hood-Schifino, who was selected at No. 17, likely signed a four-year, $17.88 million contract with a 2023-24 salary of $3.69 million, according to Spotrac.

    The 6-foot-6, 215-pound Hood-Schifino was Indiana’s second-leading scorer last season, averaging 13.5 points, 4.1 rebounds and 3.7 assists in 32 games. He was named the Big Ten Freshman of the Year and a second-team All-Big Ten honoree.

    The Lakers acquired the draft rights to Lewis, the No. 40 pick in the draft, in a four-team deal the day after the draft.

    The team likely used the new second-round pick exception in the new collective bargaining agreement to sign Lewis.

    With the exception, players selected in the second round can sign a three-year deal in which the first season’s salary is worth up to the minimum salary for a player with one year of service ($1.8 million) or a four-year contract in which the first year’s salary is worth up to the minimum salary for a player with two years of service ($2 million). Both must have a team option for the final season of the contract.

    The second-round exception allows teams to sign their second-round picks without having to use their midlevel exception, which was common.

    Related Articles

    Lakers |

    Max Christie shines again as Lakers beat Warriors for first summer league win

    Lakers |

    Steve Kerr sees Lakers’ Austin Reaves as one of NBA’s ‘rising young players’

    Lakers |

    Lakers’ Austin Reaves part of young Team USA roster for FIBA World Cup

    Lakers |

    Lakers sign, re-sign most of their free agent acquisitions

    Lakers |

    Lakers fall to Spurs in their California Classic finale

    ​ Orange County Register