6 Lakers who could get axed from Darvin Ham's playoff rotation

Lakers head coach Darvin Ham could cut these players from his postseason rotation.
Los Angeles Lakers, Darvin Ham
Los Angeles Lakers, Darvin Ham / Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
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The Los Angeles Lakers did not expect to be battling for eighth in the Western Conference in the final days of the regular season after last year’s run to the conference finals. LeBron James and Anthony Davis have been healthy, but that did not stop it from being a disappointing season in LA.

The Lakers could salvage things by making a deep playoff run from the Play-In Tournament for the second straight year. It won’t be easy in the loaded Western Conference. Los Angeles would need multiple things to break right but never count out King James in the playoffs. No team is eager to face them, even if the Lakers do not have enough talent at the end of the day.

Head coach Darvin Ham must pull all the right strings for the Lakers to have success. The pressure will be on as he attempts to shorten his rotation in the postseason. LA has options, and these players could be banished to the bench.

6. Jaxson Hayes

Hayes is the team’s backup big man with Christian Wood out with a knee injury. He is the only seven-footer on the Lakers roster, and Anthony Davis joins him as the two healthy players over 6’9.

Since jumping into the rotation on Jan. 29, Hayes is averaging 5.7 points and 4.4 rebounds in 15.3 minutes per game. He does not space the floor but is shooting 73.6 percent from the field over those 29 contests.

The Lakers will likely go small in the playoffs. Floor spacing is already an issue, so fans will see AD, Rui Hachimura, and Jarred Vanderbilt handle the minutes at the five. Hayes will get opportunities but could be quickly axed if his defense becomes a liability.

Darvin Ham will trim his rotation in the postseason, and Jaxson Hayes may be left out. He is far from the only Laker on the chopping block, including a young wing who is hoping for his first serious playoff minutes.