3 teams currently regretting not drafting Jaime Jaquez Jr.

Jaime Jaquez Jr. looks like the steal of the draft. What teams wish they would have taken him before he fell to the Miami Heat?

Jan 3, 2024; Los Angeles, California, USA; Miami Heat guard Jaime Jaquez Jr. (11) moves the ball
Jan 3, 2024; Los Angeles, California, USA; Miami Heat guard Jaime Jaquez Jr. (11) moves the ball / Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
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1. Los Angeles Lakers

Jalen Hood-Schifino
Golden State Warriors v Los Angeles Lakers / Harry How/GettyImages

One pick ahead of the Heat, the Lakers opted to go away from the hometown product in Jaquez and selected Indiana’s Jalen Hood-Schifino. 

I’ll say this first: Hood-Schifino might very well be a good NBA player. He averaged nearly 14 points in summer league and looked like a homerun pick before missing most of the start of the season with a knee injury.

But, man, I bet the Lakers wish they had Jaquez right now.

Did they realize it before or after Jaquez hit a turnaround jumper over LeBron James in Wednesday’s win?

The Lakers are now below .500 and reeling. There are questions about coach Darvin Ham’s standing with the team. It’s not good.

Jaquez probably would not have been enough to prevent all of these issues – there are many more personnel and coaching problems that a rookie cannot solve – but he’d be helpful for a Lakers team in need of reliable, two-way players to support LeBron and Anthony Davis.

Making matters worse is the love Jaquez, who spent four years at UCLA, got from the Los Angeles crowd this week. Jaquez was there for the taking and the Lakers went in a different direction, missing out on a chance at a great story and a great fit.

Next. next. Crafting the Heat's ideal starting lineup after the trade deadline. dark