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Rob Pelinka addresses Jaxson Hayes’ domestic violence allegations

Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka says the Lakers did “a full vetting process” on Jaxson Hayes before signing him. Hayes pled no contest to two misdemeanor charges stemming from a domestic violence call in 2022.

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While there has been a ton of discussion surrounding Jaxson Hayes’ signing with the Lakers and how it impacts the team on the court, there are also real off-court matters to discuss with his addition as well.

In March of 2022, Hayes was sued by his ex-girlfriend, alleging domestic abuse and false imprisonment. The lawsuit stems from an instance caught on police bodycam footage in which Hayes was tased and arrested in his Los Angeles home after a domestic violence call.

After pleading no contest to two misdemeanor charges of false imprisonment and resisting an officer, Hayes was eventually sentenced to three years of probation, a year of weekly domestic violence classes and 450 hours of community service.

At Las Vegas Summer League on Sunday, Lakers vice president of basketball operations Rob Pelinka spoke about Hayes’ arrest, sentencing and general off-court issues (via Jovan Buha of The Athletic):

“I think the most important thing is we take those things very seriously and do a full vetting process,” Pelinka said. “Jaxson has been very sincere (with) his apologies around handling that and has moved beyond it to where he’s had a year or two in the NBA playing after it. It was something that we felt like he owned, took responsibility for it, and is going to be a better person on the other side of it.”

While Pelinka is correct to note that the criminal case has been resolved, the lawsuit between Hayes and his ex-girlfriend alleging domestic violence and false imprisonment is still ongoing. The accusations contained in the lawsuit, as laid out by TMZ, are harrowing.

The possibility does exist that Hayes has expressed remorse and grown from the situation, as Pelinka stated. But it is also hard to take the Lakers at their word that they conducted a “full vetting process” on a player they signed less than 24 hours into free agency, and when we don’t even know whether or not they spoke with Hayes’ former girlfriend. It has also been fewer than two years since his aforementioned arrest. Hayes will be on probation until June 2025, which would be the entirety of his contract with the Lakers if he picks up his player option for next season.

In short, while the organization may have now at least commented on the situation, it’s hard to feel a whole lot better about it.

You can follow Jacob on Twitter at @JacobRude.

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