Jaxson Hayes had an up-and-down tenure during his time with the New Orleans Pelicans, showing flashes of the player he could become but never quite putting it together for a multitude of reasons, both owing to him and the team he was on.
As numerous players with pedigree have done in recent years, Hayes — the 8th overall pick in the 2019 draft — has come to the Lakers on a veteran’s minimum deal hoping to resuscitate his career with the team’s vaunted development staff who have helped catapult underperforming players like Malik Monk into a higher tier, or players who were on the fringes of being rostered (like Troy Brown Jr.) into bonafide NBA players.
Hayes is known to be an uber-versatile big, but that hasn’t always translated into impact and minutes. However, he has showcased a specific and unique skill during the preseason that is highly coveted among big men.
I explained what that is in this video:
If Hayes is able to consistently show this high-IQ, read-and-react ability on the catch and improve on it, he could certainly go from a player who looked to be on the outside looking in at the Lakers rotation, to one who will get reliable minutes. It’s a very positive sign for the former Longhorn and a skillset the Lakers could certainly use from their big men, especially with all the spacers they now have on the team.
Dr. Rajpal Brar, DPT has a doctorate in physical therapy from Northern Arizona University, is a youth basketball coach at the U12 level and runs his own in-person and online sports medicine and performance business, 3CB Performance, in West LA and Valencia, CA in which he further combines his movement expertise and fitness training. Combining his background in biomechanics, movement science, and learning science - he consults in a variety of sports including basketball on movement mechanics and skill acquisition. Brar is additionally training at UCLA’s mindful awareness research center (MARC and analyzes the Lakers from a skills & medical perspective for Silver Screen and Roll and on his own YouTube Channel. You can follow him on Twitter at @3cbPerformance.