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#pounditThursday, May 23, 2024

Report: Rob Pelinka overruled Lakers personnel on 1 move

Rob Pelinka at a press conference

Jun 6, 2022; El Segundo, CA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka speaks before introducing head coach Darvin Ham at UCLA Health Training Center Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Rob Lowe’s doppelganger has one that he probably wants back.

According to a report this week by L.A. Lakers writer Anthony Irwin of Lakers Daily, Lakers GM Rob Pelinka overruled team scouts on the decision of who to use their first-round selection on in last year’s draft. Irwin writes that the consensus pick within the Lakers at No. 17 overall was guard Kobe Bufkin. But when Bufkin was selected by the Atlanta Hawks at No. 15, the team went into scramble mode.

The Lakers’ scouting department wanted to take forward Cam Whitmore at that point. But Pelinka, who had personally seen guard Jalen Hood-Schifino perform well in the Big Ten Conference Tournament, overruled them and made the call to take Hood-Schifino at No. 17.

Fast-forward some nine months later and Hood-Schifino has given the Lakers next to nothing, averaging 1.6 points and 0.6 rebounds per game over 21 mop-up appearances. To add insult to injury, Whitmore (12.1 ppg) has been a stud for the Houston Rockets this season, and Miami’s Jaime Jaquez Jr. (posting a 12-4-3 line) and Golden State’s Brandin Podziemski (posting 10-6-4) are balling too. The Lakers passed up on all three players in order to draft Hood-Schifino.

Pelinka, in fairness, has had some nice hits, building a Lakers championship team in 2020 and swinging other stunningly great moves in the years since as well. But pulling rank to select Hood-Schifino might just end up as a generational whiff by Pelinka.


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