Lakers News: Skylar Mays Signing Allowing Jalen Hood-Schifino To Get More G League Reps
Jalen Hood-Schifino, Lakers
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers recently added fourth-year point guard Skylar Mays on a two-way contract. In doing so, Lakers head coach Darvin Ham saw an opportunity to get more reps for 2023 first-round draft pick Jalen Hood-Schifino by sending him to the South Bay Lakers of the G League.

Mays is in his fourth NBA campaign, spending two years with the Atlanta Hawks and two with the Portland Trail Blazers. He was waived by the Trail Blazers on Jan. 6 and quickly found another home with the Lakers. He has played in 88 career NBA games, averaging 4.9 points in 11.8 minutes per contest.

But Mays’ signing is less about his NBA production and more about the fact that he has league experience. In an effort to get more quality reps for Hood-Schifino, the Lakers wanted to bring in another point guard. All of this stems back to the injury suffered by Gabe Vincent that has limited him to five games this season.

“That’s exactly the reason,” Ham said when asked if Vincent’s injury hadn’t allowed Hood-Schifino to get G League reps.

“So it’s like, when you have one of your point guards that you were expecting to be a huge part of the rotation and he’s been limited due to injury, and that’s NBA circumstances, it forces you to adjust and pivot to other scenarios. That’s definitely it. Jalen is a young guy, only played one year of college and coming into the league, definitely needs those reps that South Bay will provide. But it was difficult because of only having DLo and just one true point guard outside of obviously Bron can play point guard.

“But at that position, having just one guy, you need to have insurance behind him. So being able to get Skylar was a huge pickup for us. It checks a lot of boxes, gives us a point guard that has played a really good amount of real NBA minutes and that’s very capable. It allows Jalen to go get those reps that he needs with South Bay, and again, it provides stability at that position and allows for us to have someone to backup DLo.”

It’s unclear how much Mays is going to play for the Lakers, but Ham clearly feels more comfortable with him than Hood-Schifino backing up D’Angelo Russell at this stage. Hood-Schifino was drafted to be a long-term project, and it was not in the Lakers’ plans for him to play major minutes in his rookie season.

Now, Hood-Schifino can get quality reps in with South Bay and come back better prepared for the NBA speed and physicality.

Darvin Ham explains what stood out to Lakers about Skylar Mays

Ham spoke about Mays’ professionalism when asked about his favorite thing regarding the Lakers’ new backup point guard.

“He’s a tough point guard, really good vision, plays hard, can make a shot. He had a really good game against us when he was with Portland,” Ham said. “He’s just a solid, young kid, great kid, professional and does what you ask him to do.”

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