Los Angeles Lakers have balance in their roster with quality players like Austin Reaves and Rui Hachimura. Moreover, they have the experiences of LeBron James and Anthony Davis. The James-Davis duo helped the Purple and Gold Army win their 17th title back in 2020 during the pandemic. However, this duo has not been that successful ever since. Not only did the Lakers fail to win a championship after that, but these key players often missed a lot of games owing to injuries.
But the 17-time champions did not want to take any chances on Anthony Davis and LeBron James. They knew to make sure LeBron James stays for a longer time, all they needed was to extend AD’s contract. The eight-time All-Star was eligible for a contract extension from August 4. Moreover, the front office extended AD’s contract for another three years. They got what they wanted. But the question is if the Lakers need more scoring power.
How Much The Young Jalen Hood-Schifino Can Help The Lakers In Scoring?
They acquired Jalen Hood Schifino with the 17th overall pick from the 2023 draft. How much can this kid help the LA side? This 20-year-old point guard can be critical for the Lakers future. He is ideally the right size and shape the Lakers were looking for. Jonathan Wasserman of the Bleacher Report suggests Jalen Hood Schifino can excel in offense as he is a good pull-up jumper. In college, Jalen played 32 games and drilled 80 pull-up jumpers.
Moreover, Jonathan feels Jalen’s method of scoring is shooting off the dribble. Hence, Jalen might hurt himself less as he doesn’t need to reach the rim to threaten any defense. He can keep his explosiveness in check. Moreover, he shot 42.1% from 152 jumpers inside the arc. Jalen Hood Schifino was also able to shoot 37.1% pull-up three-pointer jumpers. He proved that he has a high comfort level in mid-range stopping and popping, which is a good sign for the Lakers. The LA side does have a good mix of players, and they must step up to help the side win the next title.
LA Side Knows The Importance Of Balance And Unity In Their Roster
Players like Jarred Vanderbilt and Cam Reddish were practicing together in the offseason. The two players bonding before the start of the season is a good sign indeed. However, the James-Davis duo helped the LA side reach the Western Conference Finals last season. But it did not end the way they hoped it would. Later in the offseason, the front office managed to execute their plans really well. What really helped the Lakers more than the James-Davis duo was the crucial changes the front office made right before the February trade deadline. The 17-time champions traded star Russell Westbrook and got players like D’Angelo Russell and Jarred Vanderbilt in exchange.
Jarred Vanderbilt and Cam Reddish hooping at the Rico Hines runs pic.twitter.com/KFibesYlJy— pickuphoop (@pickuphoop) August 24, 2023
The Lakers went through a reshuffling during the mid-season trades. But it brought balance and stability to the roster. Since then, the Lakers planned to keep the core together in the offseason. That’s what they did in the free agency. Players like Austin Reaves, Rui Hachimura, and D’Angelo Russell were heading towards free agency. But Rob Pelinka was smart enough to re-sign Hachimura on the first day of free agency for a three-year contract extension worth $51 million. Later, Pelinka and the rest of the front office extended the contract of Austin Reaves for four more years with a contract worth $56 million. Moreover, the Lakers re-signed D’Angelo Russell for two more years with a player option in his second year.