Jaxson Hayes Calls Anthony Davis ‘Great Role Model’ During First Season With Lakers
Anthony Davis, Jaxson Hayes, Lakers
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

After initially signing with the Los Angeles Lakers last summer, Jaxson Hayes entered a win-now environment for the first time in his career, providing him with key experience playing alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis.

Every NBA player wants to win at a high level, and it does not get any better than with the Lakers. Hayes is still only 23 years old and looking to establish himself as a center who can contribute to a championship contender.

The former Texas Longhorn certainly provided some highlight dunks and blocks, giving L.A. some much-needed energy off the bench. He also got to learn behind Davis, one of the best defensive bigs in the league. Now that the season is over, Hayes discussed what he learned from Davis and how appreciative he was of the experience.

“Shoot, I learned a ton this whole year. Just coming from individual workouts, group workouts with me and AD, just watching what he does in the games like trying to get good positioning and stuff. Watching film with him all year and that type of stuff, he’s been a huge help all year and been a great role model all year.”

There were times throughout the year that Hayes needed to continue to develop and learn what it takes to be a center in this league. But to be able to provide positive minutes throughout the season for an organization like the Lakers is a step in the right direction for his career.

Next up for Hayes is deciding what to do with his player option this summer. Returning to the Lakers could allow him to continue to learn and develop while backing up Davis for another season, but Hayes might also have a market if he chooses to test free agency.

Jaxson Hayes unsure if he will exercise player option for next season

A common theme through the past seasons is players sign with the Lakers on a minimum with the hopes of cashing in on a payday a year later. That has worked for players like Malik Monk and Dennis Schroder, as L.A. is always in the center of attention for NBA fans and executives.

This could perhaps be the case for Hayes as he had some solid stints throughout the 2023-24 season. Fellow teammate D’Angelo Russell spoke to Hayes about earning himself a pay raise, but when it comes to deciding on his player option, Hayes is unsure if he will exercise it for the 2024-25 season.

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