3 Players Darvin Ham Could Lure to Bucks From Lakers Tenure

Now that Darvin Ham is back as a Bucks assistant coach, here are three players from his Lakers tenure that he could lure to Milwaukee.
Which former Lakers could Darvin Ham lure to the Bucks?
Which former Lakers could Darvin Ham lure to the Bucks? / Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
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3. Jaxson Hayes, C

With Brook Lopez's athleticism dropping off as he ages, the Bucks will likely aim to inject some youth into the center position. If they're looking for a younger big man who has a connection to Ham, look no further than Jaxson Hayes.

A former 2019 first-rounder, Hayes joined the Lakers on a one-year contract after four seasons with the New Orleans Pelicans. The 7-foot, 220-pound center made the most of his opportunity as he averaged 4.3 points, 3.0 rebounds, 0.5 steals, and 0.4 blocks while playing nearly 13 minutes a night across 70 games with Los Angeles.

While Hayes' box score numbers don't jump off the page, that had to do with his limited playing time. He still shot a remarkable 72.0% from the field and even if that won't happen every season, it shows that he can capitalize on the majority of offensive opportunities he sees. Hell, the Lakers' offensive rating per 100 possessions jumped up from 115.9 to 128 with him on the floor.

That's not even mentioning how his athleticism would be a massive addition to Milwaukee's lineup.

Hayes won't stretch the floor like some modern centers and that's fine. He excels at being a traditional big man who can score down low and rebound with the best of them. His pick-and-roll game also took some positive leaps this year, which would benefit the Bucks with Lopez being on the decline.

Hayes has a 2024-25 player option, which he could decline if he's confident he can make more than $2.4 million. Considering how that's basically the same number as next season's veteran minimum (per Spotrac), Hayes could tell the Lakers 'no thanks' and opt to play under Ham, who clearly knows how to get the most out of the budding 24-year-old.

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