The Los Angeles Lakers announced the signing of Nigel Hayes to a 10-day contract, making him available for Friday’s game against the Indiana Pacers. A graduate of Wisconsin, the 23-year-old was not selected in the 2017 NBA Draft.
Hayes joined the New York Knicks roster in Summer League and eventually received an invitation to training camp invite. However, he was cut prior to the regular season beginning.
In 30 games (27 starts) for the Westchester Knicks of the G League, Hayes averaged 14.9 points, 6.6 rebounds and two assists in 35.1 minutes. He shot 44 percent from 3-point range, which presumably was one aspect that attracted the Lakers to Hayes.
He has the ability to play both forward positions, but minutes at the four-spot may be hard to come by, with the likes of Kyle Kuzma, Larry Nance Jr. and Julius Randle receiving minutes generally may not be there.
Moreover, Brandon Ingram has played some power forward when the Lakers elected to go small. Though, Ingram tweaked his previously sprained ankle in Wednesday’s loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder and is considered a game-time decision.
“He obviously doesn’t know the offense,” Lakers head coach Luke Walton said of Hayes at shooaround. “But if we’re in a situation where Brandon doesn’t play, guys get in foul trouble, or something else happens health-wise, we’d need him.
“If we need to call on him, I’ll feel confident with his basketball IQ to help us out.”
Hayes joins Gary Payton II as players to sign a 10-day contract with the Lakers this week. Payton II has appeared in two games with the team thus far.
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