Lakers Rumors: Jaxson Hayes Could Start Alongside Anthony Davis To Begin 2023-24 Season
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers roster is mostly set, though they still have a hole at the center position alongside Anthony Davis and Jaxson Hayes.

The Lakers did well to sign Hayes to a minimum contract to back up Davis, but the team could use one more big man for depth. Davis has long expressed his desire to have another true center next to him, and Rob Pelinka’s taken note as he confirmed they’re looking for another big for their 14th roster spot.

As far as potential starting lineups go, Davis currently projects to start at center. However, on an appearance on ‘The Lowe Post’, ESPN’s Dave McMenamin suggested there’s a possibility that Los Angeles starts Hayes next to Davis:

“Anthony Davis has been pounding the drum ever since he got to L.A. that he doesn’t like to max out his minutes at the 5. His body takes a beating, he likes having a big next to him for rim protection purposes, etc. etc. etc. They won the championship with big bodies in JaVale McGee and Dwight Howard. The team not only listened to him with the acquisition of Jaxson Hayes but made sure it was known that they listened to him in the comments made by Darvin Ham and Rob Pelinka to various reporters and various outlets, myself included, that this was wanting to replicate kind of the lineup they had in 2020 in order to appease Anthony Davis and make him feel good.

“So there is a chance that with their re-upped committal to him with an extension this summer that it includes him saying ‘I want to see that other lineup again.’ So you could very well see Jaxson Hayes, AD, and then I think if you go there, it’s LeBron at the 3, Austin at the 2 and probably DLo. But I think Gabe Vincent will get a chance at some point this year, and they got really good depth… It would not shock me if we saw Jaxson Hayes as the starting center to open up the season to see how that looks, but that doesn’t mean that you’re not gonna see Anthony Davis playing center to in the fourth quarter. That’s winning time.”

The two-big look propelled the Lakers to a title in 2020 and it seems that the coaching staff is at least considering returning to the look that made them successful. Starting Hayes next to Davis makes some sense, but they would definitely need another option off the bench if they go that route.

Jaxson Hayes calls it surreal to be with Lakers

As an athletic big man capable of rolling and finishing lobs, Hayes projects to play a decent-sized role for the Lakers next season. Upon officially signing, Hayes expressed how surreal it is for him to be playing for the purple and gold after growing up watching Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant.

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