The Los Angeles Lakers kept their roster together after reaching the conference finals last season. They re-signed Austin Reaves, Rui Hachimura, and D’Angelo Russell in free agency. Rob Pelinka and the front office did add a few role players, but avoided chasing a third star.
LeBron James and Anthony Davis will have them in contention, and the depth should help LA make it through the 82-game regular season grind. The Lakers’ brain trust learned from their Russell Westbrook mistake. They have plenty of versatility and are primed for another postseason run.
Some of the new additions are not going as planned. It is still early, but not every deal works out. The Lakers could regret several of their offseason moves when the calendar flips to 2024, including these four signings.
4. Jaxson Hayes
The Lakers signed Hayes to a two-year deal worth $4.6 million this summer with the second season being a player option. Anthony Davis wants to play more minutes at the four, and LA needed someone who could pair with him in the frontcourt.
Hayes spent his first four NBA seasons with the Pelicans where he never played more than 20 minutes per game. His role and production often fluctuated with Hayes earning the fewest minutes of his career in 2023.
In his first two games with the Lakers, Hayes has not attempted a shot but grabbed three rebounds, created a steal, committed two turnovers, and picked up four fouls in 13 minutes of action. The 23-year-old is the tenth and final man in the rotation and not showing anything to increase his playing time.
The Los Angeles Lakers will be searching for a replacement before the trade deadline as Jaxson Hayes may not stick in the rotation long. The 6’11 big man offers little production, and the Lakers need all the help they can get to contend for a championship.