3 Lakers who are now playing for their NBA future

Los Angeles Lakers v Golden State Warriors
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Jaxson Hayes is playing for his NBA career

Jaxson Hayes is essentially a hybrid of both Wood and Christie when it comes to his situation. Like Wood, Hayes is a big man who has a player option for next season so he knows at the very least that he will get paid by someone next year. But like Christie, he is a young player who hasn't proven much in his NBA career and you only get so many chances.

Hayes naturally has the advantage of being a recent lottery pick and because of draft priors, he will naturally get more chances than someone like Christie. Just look at Mo Bamba, who has had two different teams buy in on him over the last 12 months.

That being said, there are a lot of talented bigs in the league and there are a lot of interchangeable parts. To secure that he can actually have a long-lasting career, Hayes has to prove that he offers more than the generic rim protection with no real offense that he currently offers.

Hayes has the chance to prove that down the stretch with Wood currently out as the Lakers simply have to play him. When entirely healthy, Hayes does not have much of a role in the rotation and that is revealing about how the team feels about him.

If the Lakers are not thrilled with Hayes and don't feel inclined to give him much playing time then other teams in the league likely won't be, either. Hayes has the fallback plan of a player option but that does not mean he has a fruitful NBA career ahead of him.

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