Austin Reaves-Jalen Hood-Schifino

Los Angeles Lakers have been very happy with their new power Austin Reaves and his growth. The Oklahoma Sooners kid joined the LA side in 2021, even though he was not one of the picks from the drafts. Later, when he came in, the coach used him as a reserve as Reaves had not earned his place in the starting lineup initially. But his skills and impressive basketball IQ caught the eyes of the coach and the leader of the team, LeBron James.

Cut to the next year, in the middle of the 2022-23 season, Austin Reaves blossomed into an emerging star of the team. As the Lakers reached the playoffs, the young gun became a fan favorite. The 25-year-old point guard has always been a big fan of Kobe Bryant and, at many points, made it clear that he wants to play for the Lakers all his life. Even the management and the fans want him to stay. But the situation has been tricky for the front office of the Lakers in the offseason. Hence, if Reaves stays, then Rob Pelinka wants the new recruit, Jalen Hood-Schifino, to learn from and pair up with the Oklahoma Sooners kid.


Rob Pelinka Wants Jalen To Emulate Austin Reaves

Austin Reaves
Austin Reaves Lakers Source: Lakers Nation

As Austin Reaves raised his stakes, it became more difficult for the Lakers to keep him in the offseason with a contract extension worth $50 million. On the contrary, teams like Orlando Magic, San Antonio Spurs, and Portland Trail Blazers have bigger cap space to offer Reaves a contract worth more than $90 million. But it is still unclear how things will turn out for the restricted free agent. Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Lakers are happy to sign Jalen Hood-Schifino from the Indiana Pacers. Moreover, the Lakers chose not to trade the no. 17 pick from the NBA Draft 2023. On top of that, the General Manager of the Los Angeles Lakers feels the Indiana Pacers guard is a lottery-level talent. Moreover, The Athletic’s Jovan Buha suggests that Rob Pelinka is making Austin Reaves a benchmark for Jalen Hood-Schifino.

According to Buha, Pelinka mentioned, “I feel Jalen’s strength is in his commitment like Austin. When AR joined our team, he was not a great shooter. But he is now. That’s because AR worked hard on his craft.” Rob Pelinka sees more similarities between Reaves and Jalen. The LA side’s GM feels both AR and Jalen have high IQs. Moreover, if the Lakers manage to keep Austin Reaves, then the prospect of the rise of a new duo after LeBron James and Anthony Davis are high. Rob Pelinka credits Austin Reaves and the guard from the Pacers as on-the-ball guards. The Lakers GM feel they are good readers of the game after James and Davis.

Jalen Hood-Schifino Wants To Make An Impact As A Rookie For The Lakers

Lakers Jalen Hood-Schifino
Lakers Jalen Hood-Schifino Source: CBS News

If the Oklahoma Sooners kid stays, then the Lakers fans are eagerly waiting for the Reaves-Schifino duo on the court. Moreover, this new duo would help maintain the pace of the Lakers’s offense. The LA side struggled to keep up with the pace in the last season. Moreover, Jalen Hood-Schifino is eager to do his best for the Lakers as the Rookie.

Additionally, Schifino spoke to Jovan Buha about him being an all-rounder. Moreover, Jalen mentioned, “I check in a lot of boxes. Scoring from all three levels is my strong suit. I’m a big guard, unselfish, and a bit of a Floor General.”