Lakers waive former Gonzaga standout Joel Ayayi

<p><p>The Los Angeles Lakers waived former Gonzaga standout Joel Ayayi four days before Tuesday’s season opener against Golden State.</p></p><p><p>Ayayi was the biggest name among four players waived Friday because he had agreed to a two-way contract with the Lakers shortly after the NBA Draft in July. The Lakers added Sekou Doumbouya earlier this week on a two-way deal, which allows the 2019 first-round pick to split time between the Lakers and G-League South Bay.</p></p><p><p>Ayayi’s departure leaves Los Angeles with one available two-way contract. Austin Reeves’ two-way contract was converted into a standard NBA contract.</p></p><p><p>Ayayi, 21, struggled in seven NBA summer league games and five preseason games. The 6-foot-5 guard averaged 4.6 points, 3.3 rebounds and 2.0 assists in 21.7 minutes in summer league. He shot 40.6% from the field, including just 2 of 13 on 3-pointers.</p></p><p><p>He finished with just two points in 46 preseason minutes. He made 1 of 10 field-goal attempts. He had four rebounds and an assist in three minutes in the Lakers’ loss to Sacramento on Thursday. </p></p><p><p>Ayayi’s next move isn’t immediately clear. The native of France could have other NBA options or wind up with South Bay. He’d probably draw strong interest from professional teams overseas.</p></p><p><p>After redshirting as a skinny 17-year-old freshman at Gonzaga and then seeing limited minutes in the 2018-19 season, Ayayi became a major contributor in his final two seasons as the Zags compiled a 62-3 record.</p></p><p><p>The versatile Ayayi moved into the starting lineup early in his sophomore season and went on to average 10.6 points, 6.3 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 1.3 steals.</p></p><p><p>Ayayi was even better last season as a junior, finishing at 12.0 points, 6.9 rebounds and 2.7 assists. He made 68.3% of his 2-point attempts and 38.9% beyond the 3-point arc. He had 12 points, 13 rebounds and 14 assists against Portland, believed to be the first triple-double in program history.</p></p><p><p>Ayayi was first-team All-WCC last season and one of five finalists for the Jerry West Shooting Guard of the Year Award.</p></p>