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Lakers will reportedly sign Jaxson Hayes to two-year contract

Jaxson Hayes will join the Lakers in NBA free agency after the Pelicans declined to extend him a qualifying offer to make him a restricted free agent.

New Orleans Pelicans v Los Angeles Lakers Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images

The Los Angeles Lakers are signing a center on the second day of NBA free agency, as multiple reports say they will sign former Pelicans big man Jaxson Hayes to a two-year contract.

Given that the Lakers are likely set to be hard-capped and multiple agents didn’t beg to have their names attached to glowing tweets about the deal like most of the scoops on day one of free agency, it is probably for the veteran’s minimum:

Hayes, 23, spent the last four seasons with the New Orleans Pelicans, who did not extend him a qualifying offer to make him a restricted free agent. He has averaged 7.4 points and 4 rebounds on 62.2% shooting in 16.8 minutes per game over the course of his career after being selected eighth overall in the 2019 NBA Draft.

There is no easy segue to this, but we also have to mention that this is yet another transaction window where the Lakers are adding or being linked to a player with recent assault allegations. Hayes was sued for assault and battery by his former girlfriend in 2022 (trigger warning, the allegations in this link are graphic), and pleaded no contest to charges of false imprisonment and resisting an officer after resisting arrest during a domestic violence call involving the same woman during the summer of 2021.

Per the Associated Press, Hayes was sentenced “to three years of probation, 450 hours of community service and a year of weekly domestic violence classes” in the latter case, as well as being “ordered to pay yet-to-be-determined restitution.” The outcome of the former lawsuit is still pending.

For all the latest on NBA free agency, check out our Silver Screen and Roll Lakers free agency rumors tracker. You can follow Harrison on Twitter at @hmfaigen.

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