The summer of 2018 has been eventful for Josh Hart, who was drafted by the Utah Jazz and traded to the Los Angeles Lakers during the 2017 NBA Draft. This summer, the 6-foot-5 guard managed to impress Magic Johnson, the president of basketball operations and Rob Pelinka, who is the team’s current general manager.
At the end of the 2017-18 season, it was clear that Hart solidified his spot in the future plans of the Los Angeles Lakers. The Villanova product finished 2017-18 averaging 7.9 points, 4.2 rebounds and 1.3 assists while shooting 39.6 percent from three-point range.
Los Angeles Lakers: Summer League Recap
In addition to a solid rookie year, the Maryland native continued to progress throughout the summer league. He played in both the Sacramento and Las Vegas Summer League. In the Sacramento Summer League, he averaged 12.0 points, 2.0 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game. Hart’s solid play would transfer over to the Las Vegas Summer League where he recorded a final stat line of 22.4 points, 4.7 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.3 steals per game.
The 2016 NCAA champion would go on to win the 2018 Summer League MVP award. After an impressive summer, speculation started to arise about the availability of the 2017 Draft pick. However, the Los Angeles Lakers decided to hold on to their young guard.
With the additions of LeBron James, JaVale McGee, Lance Stephenson, Michael Beasley, and Rajon Rondo it’s clear that the Los Angeles Lakers desire playmaking. As of now, this team belongs to King James, but make no mistake, the young core is just as important.
Currently, Johnson and Pelinka want to continue to build around Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram and Kyle Kuzma. But the Los Angeles Lakers front office needs to add Hart to the list. Friday night the Lake Show won their first preseason game, defeating the Sacramento Kings 128-123.
After last night’s win, the Lakers improved to a 1-2 record in the preseason. In the last two games, Lakers head coach Luke Walton has started Hart over Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. Clearly, it’s just preseason and coaches test out multiple lineups, but this could be a sign of things to come.
KCP, who was the starting shooting guard for the Lakers last season, re-signed with the team this summer. Walton has promising talent on this year’s roster but there are three reasons why he needs to start Hart.
Next Up: Reason No. 3