3. Jaxson Hayes’ Lakers stock plummeted during the preseason
Jaxson Hayes‘ stock plummeting isn’t necessarily to do with him playing terribly. It isn’t like Hayes came out and stunk up the joint as there were still some promising moments when the young big man was on the floor.
However, in the grander picture of the team, Hayes definitely took more of a backseat than fans may have been expecting two months ago. It first started before the preseason even began when the team signed Christian Wood. Hayes went from being in the conversation for the starting five to being Wood’s backup at the five.
Wood definitely didn’t light it up in the preseason and his three-point shooting struggled. But he did and said all the right things to play next to Anthony Davis and really seems to be respected by head coach Darvin Ham. As a result, Hayes quickly became the third big man in the equation.
Most of Hayes’ minutes were reserved for the points in the game where the traditional rotation was resting and that is not a good sign for how much he will play this season. Hayes went from being someone who could start to someone who might see 10 minutes at most per game this season.
He didn’t get that much more playing time than two-way center Colin Castleton and quite frankly, Hayes didn’t look like he offered anything more than Castleton did. That does not bode well for a player who is hoping to increase his value in LA.