Lakers Jalen Hood-Schifino

New FSM Feature: The Los Angeles Lakers 2023 NBA Draft Recap

Franchise Sports Media


The Los Angeles Lakers came out of the 2023 NBA draft with Jalen Hood-Schifino, Maxwell Lewis, Colin Castleton, D’Moi Hodge, and Alex Fudge.

The Los Angeles Lakers selected Jalen Hood-Schifino 17th overall. 

Lakers Jalen Hood-Schifino
Photo Credit: Michael Reaves/Getty Images

With the 17th pick in the 2023 NBA Draft, the Los Angeles Lakers selected Jalen Hood-Schifino. Hood-Schifino is a 20-year-old big guard (6’5) who was the Big 10 Freshman of the Year in his one season with the Indiana Hoosiers (13.5 points, 4.1 rebounds, 3.7 assists, and 0.8 steals in 33.1 minutes per game).

The Lakers were the first team I worked out for,” Hood-Schifino said. “Great visit, great workout, great meeting. Just hearing my name called by the Lakers was kinda crazy because I’ve always been a Kobe fan. It was a full circle moment for me.”

Hood-Schifino is capable of handling the ball as well as creating. He operates well out of the pick-and-roll. He’s also a switchable defender who can guard multiple positions. However, he’ll need to improve his outside shooting.

Hood-Schifino gives Los Angeles another ball handler while retaining size on defense. While he only shot 30.4 percent on spot-up 3s in college, he has good touch from midrange and the free-throw line.

The Los Angeles Lakers then selected Maxwell Lewis. 

Hood-Schifino might not blow you away, but the Lakers excel at evaluating young talent.

The Los Angeles Lakers signed Colin Castleton, D’Moi Hodge, and Alex Fudge once the draft had ended. 

Lakers Rob Pelinka
Photo Credit: Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire/Getty Images

For perspective, Los Angeles selected Hood-Schifino with other enticing prospects still on the board, such as Jaime Jaquez Jr., Cam Whitmore, Noah Clowney, Dariq Whitehead, Kris Murray, Marcus Sasser, Nick Smith Jr., Brice Sensabaugh, Julian Strawther.

However, Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka was confident in his decision, 

To be able to get a lottery-level talent in Jalen Hood-Schifino with the 17th pick is something we’re incredibly excited about,” Pelinka said. “This was an easy choice for us.”

Pelinka cited Hood-Schifino’s size and maturity as things that appealed to the Lakers. He also views Hood-Schifino as a player who can play both the point guard and shooting guard positions.

He really carries himself as a pro,” Pelinka said. “All the intel was that he was ahead of his time with his diet, his training, his physique. Thinks the game. Can run a team. He has a real thoughtfulness about the way he plays.”

Pelinka cited Austin Reaves’ growth as a 3-point shooter as an example of how Hood-Schifino can develop as a shooter.

Pelinka mentioned that they asked Hood-Schifino whom he’d like to have lunch with if it could be anybody from history. Hood-Schifino answered Kobe Bryant.


His Mamba Mentality is a code (Hood-Schifino has) lived by,” Pelinka said. “You could tell he didn’t throw that out because it was a Lakers interview; it felt from the heart.”

The Los Angeles Lakers had an overall solid draft. 

Lakers Maxwell Lewis
Photo Credit: Tribune News Service

The Lakers then stayed local, taking Pepperdine star Maxwell Lewis with the 40th pick in the second round of the 2023 NBA Draft. Los Angeles acquired Lewis from the Denver Nuggets after trading Mojave King and cash considerations to the Indiana Pacers.

Lewis is a 6’6 scoring wing and native Las Vegan with a 7’0 wingspan. Lewis averaged 17.1 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 2.8 assists on 46.8 percent shooting from the field, 34.8 percent from 3, and 78.7 percent from the charity stripe in his last season with Pepperdine.

Once the draft ended, the Lakers got busy, signing Florida center Colin Castleton to a two-way contract. 

Castleton is an athletic rim-protector who was a First-team All-SEC selection this past season after averaging 16 points, 7.7 rebounds, and three blocks as a fifth-year senior. However, his season ended early after suffering a broken hand in mid-February.

Reportedly, several teams called Castleton in round two, hoping he would accept a two-way contract with them. However, he declined, feeling that the Lakers were his best fit.

Los Angeles then signed Missouri guard D’Moi Hodge to a two-way contract. Hodge was a 2023 finalist for National Defensive Player of the Year honors. He was also a fifth-year senior, averaging 14.7 points, 3.9 rebounds, and 2.6 steals per game in his only season with the Missouri Tigers.

The Lakers also signed Alex Fudge, a 6’9 forward out of Florida, to an Exhibit-10 deal. The 20-year-old forward posted 5.8 points and 4.5 rebounds per game as a sophomore.


The Los Angeles Lakers head into the 2023 NBA Summer League with a potential starting five of Jalen Hood-Schifino, Max Christie, Max Lewis, Cole Swider, and Colin Castleton.


– Jake Ideguchi-Furukawa – Franchise Sports Media

Follow Jake on Twitter & IG – @JGuchi

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