Los Angeles Lakers head coach Luke Walton said Josh Hart was pulled out of Monday’s practice due to a “tweaked” hamstring. Hart will undergo evaluation and an update on his status will be provided by the team on Tuesday.
Walton wasn’t yet certain of Hart’s status moving forward, and specifically for Wednesday’s preseason game in Las Vegas against the Golden State Warriors. The Lakers will play the Warriors again on Friday to conclude their exhibition schedule.
Hart thus far has appeared in each of their four preseason games, making two starts. After consecutive games in the lineup, he was moved back to the bench over the weekend when the Lakers faced the Clippers.
The 23-year-old is averaging 11.5 points, 4.0 rebounds and 2.3 assists over 27 minutes per game. Hart is competing against Kentavious Caldwell-Pope to earn the starting job at shooting guard come the regular season.
Hart had an impressive finish to his rookie campaign and rode that success into the offseason. He convinced the Lakers to allow him to play more than one game in Sacramento and Las Vegas, and went on to earn Las Vegas Summer League MVP.
Walton has been pleased with what he’s seen from his young guard, regardless of whether or not Hart has started or appeared off the bench.
If Hart is to miss any time, the situation would mirror last year when he suffered an ankle sprain during Summer League, hamstring strain at the outset of training camp, and Achilles strain as the regular season was on the horizon.
Although the Lakers are facing some injury concern with Hart, the expectation remains Lonzo Ball will make his preseason debut in Las Vegas. LeBron James is also due to be back in the lineup after receiving a game off for rest.
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