Will G-League be a positive for Jaxson Hayes and the Pelicans?

Jaxson Hayes #10 of the New Orleans Pelicans . (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
Jaxson Hayes #10 of the New Orleans Pelicans . (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /

The New Orleans Pelicans made an announcement about Jaxson Hayes that I honestly didn’t think we’d see this season.

They are sending him to the G-League.

Hayes, who is in his 3rd season, has been one of the team’s biggest disappointments, as most expected him to have a breakout year or at least be a fixture in the rotation after he started to play well late last season.

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That has not been the case, whether through poor play, poor attitude or both, as Hayes has been glued to the bench and is racking up the DNP’s this season, which isn’t good for him or the team.

This has to be a letdown for Jaxson Hayes, one that he can let define his career or one he can use as motivation to improve. How he handles the G-League will say a lot about this young man’s future in the NBA.

Jaxson Hayes has to see this as an opportunity to make the Pelicans’ rotation

I highly doubt Jaxson Hayes was happy when he was informed that he’d be taking his talents to Birmingham, at least for a few days while the Pelicans are off.

I am certain he’ll be back with the real team soon enough, but right now he has been thoroughly outplayed by Willy Hernangomez, a journeyman career backup, who most thought would be the third center not seeing much action.

But someone forgot to tell Willy and Hayes, as Hernangomez is playing like he is the top lottery pick and Hayes is not playing at all.

Hayes got benched last season and it seemed to light a fire under him, as he came back and played the best basketball of his career.

Will this demotion to the G-League have the same effect?

Hayes has to use this time to work on his game and get better in areas where he is still very weak, namely defensive positioning, on-the-ball defense, setting screens and some type of offensive game.

If he uses this time wisely, he can build confidence, remind the team why they drafted him in the first place, and come back ready to contribute.

If he sulks, leans into bad habits or dominates on sheer athleticism alone without working on his game, then this time will be wasted just like his season has been up until this point.

It’s unclear how much his altercation with the police affected his offseason development, but he is going to have to grow up fast, as a trip to the G-League in your third season is not a positive sign for the future.

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