Jaxson Hayes

Southwest Notes: Tate, Hernangomez, Hayes, Pelicans

Jae’Sean Tate wants to reward the Rockets‘ faith in him after they decided to guarantee his contract for the upcoming season, tweets Mark Berman of Fox 26. Tate, who played two years overseas before coming to the NBA, will make about $1.52MM.

Tate was an All-Rookie First Team selection, averaging 11.3 points, 5.3 rebounds and 2.5 assists in 70 games. He quickly established himself as a starter and was one of the few bright spots in a difficult season for Houston. The Rockets will have a $1.78MM team option on Tate for 2022/23.

“I’ve been working really hard this summer and my whole goal is just to prove (general manager) Rafael (Stone), (executive) Patrick and (owner) Tillman (Fertitta) right,” Tate said. “That they did the right thing guaranteeing those contracts. I think that’ll show this year.” (Twitter link)

There’s more from the Southwest Division:

  • It doesn’t appear that Juan Hernangomez, who was acquired from the Timberwolves this week, will have a future with the Grizzlies. ESPN’s Bobby Marks tweeted on Saturday that Hernangomez wasn’t asked to report to the team or take a physical, just like Rajon Rondo, who is now a free agent after reaching a buyout agreement with Memphis. Hernangomez has two years and $14.3MM left on his contract, although the final year doesn’t become guaranteed until June 20, 2022, notes Evan Barnes of The Memphis Commercial Appeal.
  • Body camera footage has been released from the arrest of Pelicans center Jaxson Hayes in Los Angeles last month, per Christian Clark of NOLA.com. Hayes had an altercation with police after the incident, which he said stemmed from a fight with a girlfriend. He was treated at a hospital for minor injuries and charged with resisting arrest.
  • The Pelicans received $1.2MM in the sign-and-trade deal that sent Lonzo Ball to the Bulls, tweets Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report.

Southwest Notes: Silas, Stone, Williams, Moore, Hayes

Rockets coach Stephen Silas didn’t attend Friday’s introductory news conference for the team’s draft picks because he’s been placed under the NBA’s health and safety protocols, Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle reports. Silas has “very minor” coronavirus symptoms and is fully vaccinated. He was involved in the team’s draft preparations, including the workout of Jalen Green, whom the Rockets chose with the No. 2 pick.

We have more from the Southwest Division:

  • The Rockets kept their three first-round picks on Thursday and also acquired a fourth pick to select big man Alperen Sengun in the first round. The team’s GM, Rafael Stone, said the rookies now must show they were worthy of the front office’s faith in them, Danielle Lerner of the Houston Chronicle writes. “It’s going to be on Jalen and on us to prove it out, but not just him,” Stone said. “It’s all these guys and the guys on our current roster, we’re all in it together. We got to grow. We’ve got to help each other and we’ve got to get better.”
  • Ziaire Williams was hoping the Grizzlies would use the No. 10 pick on him, Evan Barnes of the Memphis Commercial Appeal writes. “I kept it a secret because I didn’t want to mess it up,” Williams said. “But truthfully, my family will tell you, (VP of basketball affairs) Tayshaun Prince, (GM) Zach (Kleiman), everyone, this is where I really wanted to be.”
  • Ben Moore will play on the Grizzlies’ summer league team, Nicola Lupo of Sportando tweets. Moore, who spent last season in Australia with South East Melbourne, played two games with the Pacers in 2017/18.
  • Jaxson Hayes was shocked twice with a stun gun and may have had force applied to his neck during an altercation with Los Angeles police, Ramon Antonio Vargas of the New Orleans Times-Picayune tweets. An investigation into whether officers’ use of force was appropriate is underway while Hayes faces a count of resisting arrest, Vargas adds. The Pelicans center was arrested early Wednesday following a domestic dispute call. He was charged with a felony.

Pelicans’ Jaxson Hayes Arrested In California

8:56pm: Hayes was booked and charged with a felony, Lopez tweets. He was released on $25K bond at approximately 5:30 PT.


4:40pm: Pelicans big man Jaxson Hayes was arrested in the Los Angeles area after an alleged altercation with police, according to a TMZ report.

The incident occurred after police were called early Wednesday to an unspecified home due to a domestic disturbance. Hayes tried to prevent law enforcement from entering the home, according to the TMZ report, and the confrontation became so heated that a Taser was used on Hayes.

Hayes was taken to a hospital to treat minor injuries and an officer also sought medical treatment.

The Pelicans issued a statement, relayed by ESPN’s Andrew Lopez (Twitter link), which read, “We have been made aware of the incident involving Jaxson Hayes. We are working in conjunction with the NBA and Jaxson’s representatives to gather more information and will have no further comment at this time.”

Hayes, the eighth pick in the 2019 draft, appeared in 60 games this past season. He averaged 7.5 PGG and 4.3 RPG and 16.1 MPG.

Pelicans Rumors: Griffin, Vaughn, S. Mitchell, Vinson, Hayes

Before the Pelicans decided to hire Willie Green as their new head coach, they were looking hard at Nets assistant Jacque Vaughn, who ultimately removed his name from consideration.

At the time, Vaughn’s desire to spend more time with his family in Brooklyn was cited as the motivating factor for his decision to withdraw, but Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report suggests that Vaughn’s discussions with Pelicans executive VP of basketball operations David Griffin also played a part. During those conversations, Griffin conveyed that he intended to be involved in determining the team’s rotation, planning players’ skill development, and filling out Vaughn’s coaching staff.

“He wants to have some level of involvement in every decision,” one Pelicans source said of Griffin, per Fischer.

Here’s more out of New Orleans:

  • After Vaughn withdrew from the Pelicans’ coaching search, the team expanded its list of candidates, according to Fischer, who says NBA TV broadcaster and former Coach of the Year Sam Mitchell was among those to receive a call. Mitchell is expected to receive consideration for a spot on Green’s staff, Fischer adds.
  • Pelicans assistant Fred Vinson, who interviewed for the head coaching position, is considered likely to remain in his current role. Sources tell Bleacher Report that Vinson’s interview with New Orleans lasted over four hours and was “exemplary.” Vinson and fellow Pelicans assistant Teresa Weatherspoon are said to have good relationships with Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram, per Fischer.
  • During the interview process, the Pelicans wanted to know how each head coaching candidate would scheme their offense around Williamson and Ingram, and asked them to present development plans for the team’s other young players, writes Fischer.
  • Fischer refers to center Jaxson Hayes as “a personal favorite” of Griffin’s.
  • In case you missed it, the Pelicans are reportedly likely to trade at least one of Eric Bledsoe and Steven Adams this offseason and may go after Kyle Lowry in free agency.

Pelicans Notes: Van Gundy, Griffin, Williamson, Weatherspoon, Vinson, Lottery

Pelicans officials determined that Stan Van Gundy’s style was not a match for the team’s young core and that contributed to the decision to fire the veteran head coach after just one season, according to Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report.

Executive VP of basketball operations David Griffin wanted Van Gundy to give more playing time to first-round picks Nickeil Alexander-Walker, Kira Lewis, and Jaxson Hayes, but Van Gundy was more comfortable with veterans such as Eric Bledsoe, Fischer continues.

Parting ways with Van Gundy was also a means of currying favor with Zion Williamson, Fischer adds. Griffin had urged Van Gundy to make Williamson more of a lead ball-handler in the team’s offensive scheme.

We have more on the Pelicans:

  • While assistant coach Teresa Weatherspoon has been rumored to be a potential replacement for Van Gundy, Griffin downplayed that possibility, Will Guillory of The Athletic tweets. Griffin said her candidacy is “premature” and that people may have read too much into her being named the team’s Summer League coach, Guillory adds.
  • On the other hand, assistant Fred Vinson will get serious consideration for a promotion, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN tweets. Vinson has been with the organization since 2010.
  • The Pelicans hit the jackpot when they won the 2019 lottery and selected Williamson. They’re hoping lightning strikes twice, Christian Clark of the New Orleans Times-Picayune writes.  The Pelicans enter next Tuesday’s drawing with a 4.5% chance of getting the top pick and a 20.3% chance of moving into the top four.
  • Getting rid of Van Gundy so quickly isn’t a good look for Griffin, Jeff Duncan of The Athletic writes. Next season will be pivotal for the franchise and they need to hit a home run with their next coaching hire to help convince Williamson to sign a long-term extension next summer. Zion didn’t demand Van Gundy’s ouster, Scott Kushner of the Times Picayune reports, but New Orleans’ franchise player has often expressed dissatisfaction and frustration with the team’s inability to be a consistent winner. Making a coaching change now is a way of excising the possibility of Williamson becoming discontented with the franchise.

Southwest Notes: Hayes, Pelicans, Grizzlies, Mavericks

Pelicans center Jaxson Hayes was ultimately able to benefit after head coach Stan Van Gundy made him the third-string center in February, writes Christian Clark of NOLA.com.

“Just being benched,” Hayes said. “That’s what made things click. I got to make sure I come to work every day and make sure I’m professional about everything. Just make sure I’m getting it in every day, getting better and just only controlling the things I can control.”

As Clark writes, after Hayes returned to his role as chief reserve center behind starter Steven Adams in March, he went on to provide stellar defense while averaging 9.6 PPG (on 61.7% shooting from the floor), 4.8 RPG and 0.8 BPG across just 18.5 MPG.

There’s more out of the Southwest Division:

  • William Guillory of The Athletic estimates that there’s about a 40-50% chance of Lonzo Ball sticking with the Pelicans in restricted free agency. Guillory is more confident that Ball’s fellow RFA-to-be Josh Hart (60-70%) will be back
  • Now that their offseason has officially commenced, the Grizzlies could begin reshaping their roster around star point guard Ja Morant and promising big man  Jaren Jackson Jr., writes Chris Herrington of the Daily Memphian. Morant took his play to the next level during Memphis’ series against Utah, averaging 30 PPG (on 49% field goal shooting), 8 APG, and 5 RPG. Though Morant is still honing his defense and outside shooting, he showed off his brilliance as a ball handler and interior scorer, Herrington contends. Assessing the long-term fits of Morant’s supporting cast, including Jackson, Dillon Brooks, Desmond Bane, Grayson Allen, De’Anthony Melton, and veteran center Jonas Valanciunas, Herrington suggests that Morant and Jackson may be the only two guaranteed mainstays on the roster.
  • Though the West’s fifth-seeded Mavericks have the fourth-seeded Clippers on the ropes with a 3-2 advantage in the two teams’ first-round rematch, the team is wary of celebrating too early, per Brad Townsend of the Dallas Morning News.

Pelicans Notes: Ball, Williamson, Ingram, Hayes, Luxury Tax, Offseason

The big question looming over the Pelicans this offseason is whether restricted free agent Lonzo Ball will remain with the franchise. Ball told Andrew Lopez of ESPN and other media members on Monday he’d like to stay.

“That’s a conversation between me and my agent moving forward. But obviously I would love to be back,” Ball said. “I built a bond here with the coaches and the teammates who are here. I definitely wouldn’t mind coming back at all.”

Franchise player Zion Williamson is also hoping that Ball will remain. The front office will have to extend a $14.36MM qualifying offer to prevent Ball from becoming an unrestricted free agent, then would have the ability to match any offer sheet he signs.

“I really would want ‘Zo to come back,” Williamson said. “He knows that. But you know, like I said, the reality of the situation is ‘Zo is a grown man, so he’ll make the decision that’s best for him. The only thing I can say is I hope he stays.”

We have more on the Pelicans:

  • Brandon Ingram is another fan of Ball’s, calling him a “generational” talent due to his passing ability, Lopez tweets. Ingram is also hopeful that another one of the Pelicans’ RFAs, Josh Hart ($5.23MM qualifying offer), will stay put.
  • The injury big man Jaxson Hayes suffered in the season finale on Sunday was a muscle contusion, Will Guillory of The Athletic tweets. Hayes confirms the injury is a short-term issue, Lopez tweets“There’s a little bit of swelling and I can’t bend it too well,” Hayes said. “But it’s just a contusion. I’ll be fine in a week or so.”
  • Executive VP of basketball operations David Griffin said he purposely kept the team under the luxury tax, though there was no mandate from ownership. He said his bosses are willing to pay the tax in the future once it becomes a serious title contender, Lopez relays in a string of tweets. “It was something where we didn’t want to start our clock,” Griffin said. “I think this organization and ownership team has been very clear with us that when we have a chance to put the pedal to the medal and build a championship team… I believe there is a willingness to do that. But it’s about picking your spots.”
  • Finding the right combination of players around Williamson is the ultimate front office goal for the franchise, Bobby Marks of ESPN (Insider link) writes. Marks takes a deep dive into the Pelicans’ offseason decisions, their cap situation, and the draft. New Orleans owns not only a lottery pick but four second-rounders.

Pelicans Notes: Hayes, Backcourt, Louzada, Alexander-Walker

With several stars out of the lineup, Pelicans center Jaxson Hayes has turned into a reliable scorer, writes William Guillory of The Athletic. Hayes posted his fifth straight double-digit performance Friday night and tied his career high with 19 points.

Hayes’ role has expanded without Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram around to handle most of the offense, Guillory notes. Instead of relying on pick-and-rolls and passes near the basket, Hayes has shown an ability to hit floaters and push shots in the lane.

“He runs great, a great pick-and-roll guy to the rim, great on the offensive glass, high energy and he can finish around the basket,” coach Stan Van Gundy said. “He’s been active defensively. Those are the things he needs to keep doing. I think people make a mistake thinking the way to get better is to always expand your game. I’m not saying it’s bad, but if you get away from what you do really, really well, then you start to lose what makes you a really good player. Sometimes you want to expand people’s game. Sometimes you want to narrow it down.”

There’s more from New Orleans:

  • Among the things that went wrong for the Pelicans this season was a disappointing performance from the starting backcourt, claims Christian Clark of NOLA.com. Clark states that Lonzo Ball, who will be a restricted free agent this summer, improved as a three-point shooter but struggles in other areas when his outside shot isn’t falling. Eric Bledsoe, who has one more guaranteed year on his contract, often seemed to be “mentally checked out,” according to Clark.
  • Small forward Didi Louzada, who joined the Pelicans in late April, is getting a chance to play during the final week of the season, tweets Andrew Lopez of ESPN. “I would expect over these last three games he’ll get some minutes on the floor and we’ll be able to get a look at him,” Van Gundy said earlier this week, “but I don’t know if that’ll be a fair representation of what he can do for a guy to have one practice and not even a full fledged practice.”
  • While the Pelicans didn’t accomplish what they hoped to this season, the organization benefited from the development of Hayes and Nickeil Alexander-Walker, contends Scott Kushner of NOLA.com. The team also got to take a long look at Kira Lewis Jr., Naji Marshall and Willy Hernangomez to determine if they will be part of the future.

Southwest Notes: Olynyk, Terry, Hayes, Grizzlies

Since Kelly Olynyk arrived in Houston, the Rockets have won just four of 26 games, but the veteran big man has played some of the best basketball of his career during that stretch, averaging 18.9 points and 8.6 rebounds on .561/.382/.850 shooting in 24 games (31.7 MPG). That hasn’t been lost on him, as Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle details.

“I’ve had a good opportunity here to play my game,” Olynyk said. “I’ve come in to help these young guys. Their style of offense is great for me. … It definitely factors in (to be) somewhere you can be yourself, play basketball the way you’ve always played. It’s been great here. I’ve loved it, the opportunities, the players, the coaches. I’ve really enjoyed it. It’s obviously shown on the court.”

Olynyk will be an unrestricted free agent at season’s end, and Rockets head coach Stephen Silas believes the 30-year-old would be a fit in Houston going forward, per Feigen. While Olynyk sounds interested in that possibility, he acknowledged that he’ll have to consider a number of factors once he reaches the open market.

“Obviously, money is a factor at some point,” Olynyk said. “But fit, how you’re fitting, style of play. Obviously, you want to win, but you also want to help somebody win. You don’t want to go and kind of get lost in a shuffle. You want to go and contribute and help a team grow and win and do something special. … Then, obviously, you’ve got to look at one year versus two or three or four. There’s a bunch of factors that weigh into it. You try to make the best decision that you can.”

Here’s more from around the Southwest:

  • Mavericks rookie guard Tyrell Terry, who has been out since the All-Star break for personal reasons, said on Instagram this week that he plans to be “back and better than before,” as Callie Caplan of The Dallas Morning News tweets. While it’s not clear when Terry will be available again, his Instagram post included the message, “I will see y’all soon!”
  • Second-year Pelicans center Jaxson Hayes has made some positive strides this season, according to Christian Clark of NOLA.com, who says Hayes’ next step for continued growth is to establish more consistency. The big man will make $5.35MM in 2021/22 and New Orleans will have to decide later this year whether to pick up his $6.8MM option for 2022/23.
  • Given how well the Grizzlies have performed without some key players for long stretches of the season, anything less than a playoff spot should be considered a disappointment at this point, says Mark Giannotto of The Memphis Commercial Appeal. The way the Grizzlies close the season will also determine how they move forward in the offseason, Giannotto opines.

Pelicans Notes: Marshall, Ball, Hayes, Offseason

Pelicans wing Naji Marshall has emerged as a bright spot as the team deals with injuries, Christian Clark of NOLA.com writes. Marshall has given New Orleans production in the absences of Josh Hart (thumb), Nickeil Alexander-Walker (ankle) and Lonzo Ball (hip), doing so on a two-way contract.

“He’s putting it on the floor and making plays,” head coach Stan Van Gundy said. “He’s taking advantage of his opportunity. I like that. He’s doing a good job there. And we’ll continue to see what he does the rest of the year.”

Marshall signed with New Orleans after going undrafted last year. The 23-year-old is averaging 5.3 points, 3.4 rebounds and 16.9 minutes in 16 games this season, shooting 38% from the floor. He most recently added 16 points on Saturday against Washington and 14 points on Thursday against New York.

Here are some other notes out of New Orleans tonight: