Lakers preseason loser: Jalen Hood-Schifino
While it's not unheard of to see a rookie struggle in his first NBA action, in Hood-Schifino's case, it is surprising. At Indiana, Schifino averaged 13.5 points, 4.1 rebounds, 3.7 assists, and 0.8 steals per game. In fact, he finished second on the team in points and assists. However, in four preseason appearances, Hood-Schifino averaged 3.5 points on 17.9 percent shooting and shot just 1-for-11 on 3s.
According to The Athletic's Jovan Buha, the former Indiana guard may need time to adjust. Buha wrote, "he clearly needs a lot of reps in the G League. He’s unlikely to emerge in the rotation barring injuries to Russell or Vincent, and even then, the Lakers can simply rely on Reaves or James more to fill in. Hood-Schifino projects as more of a project than initially anticipated."
Schifino struggled to create space for himself on offense. Per Buha, Schifino scored 14 points over his 37 possessions with the ball in the preseason, which translates to 0.378 points per possession. This is far from ideal production for a first-round pick. However, Schifino also showed flashes of potential in other areas. He showcased his ability to pass and create for others, averaging four assists per contest. He remains an unproven player, but the Lakers hope his potential can be unlocked with more playing time.