After starting the game before with Steven Adams out, Hayes lost his spot in the rotation (at least for now) to Willie Hernangomez after the 26-year-old Spaniard played well against the Kings.
Jaxson Hayes has not played well this season outside of a few minutes here and there and only occasionally flashes what David Griffin must have seen when he inexplicably took him 8th in a loaded draft.
But mostly Hayes has looked like a 20-year-old who still has a lot to learn, a guy whose elite athleticism isn’t enough to make up for his lack of basketball skill.
Hernangomez is certainly no All-Star but so far he has given the Pelicans better minutes than Hayes, though he is not as flashy.
For now, Hernangomez has done enough to keep his spot in the rotation, which leaves Hayes out of it on the bench.
So what should the New Orleans Pelicans do with Jaxson Hayes?
New Orleans Pelicans: Could Jaxson Hayes go to the G-League?
I am sure if you asked Jaxson Hayes if he wanted to go to the G-League his response would be full of expletives and suggestions of where you should go instead.
But is it the worst idea?
If Hayes is not going to get regular minutes, then why not send him to a place where he can?
This might seem like a slap in the face to a guy who was in the rotation as a rookie but Hayes is still only 20 and could use reps that he is not going to get for the New Orleans Pelicans.
The Pelicans’ G-League affiliate, the Erie BayHawks, will be part of the G-League bubble and it would be a good chance for Hayes to get extended minutes to work on some of the things he needs to address, namely his defensive rotations and positioning.
New Orleans Pelicans: What is the G-League Schedule?
The G-League schedule begins on February 10th and ends on March 6th.
After the conclusion of the regular season, there will be a single-elimination tournament that will start on March 8th.
The championship game will be on March 11th, which will end the G-League bubble.
New Orleans Pelicans: How many games will the G-League teams play?
Each G-League team will play 15 games in the Disney bubble.
The New Orleans Pelicans will play 13 games during that time, so if Jaxson Hayes or any of the other Pelicans were to participate, they would miss the remainder of the first half.
The Pelicans might not have the depth to lose Hayes for that long, as they are already thin on backup bigs, but if he is not going to play anyway, then why not get him extended minutes in 15 games where he can get plenty of one-on-one attention from the coaches?
Jaxson Hayes would probably take this as a kick in the teeth but in reality, it would be an opportunity for him to get minutes before rejoining the team in the second half.
It probably won’t happen but this seems like an opportunity the New Orleans Pelicans can use to get Hayes up to speed.