After a slow start to his rookie season, which included an early stint with the South Bay Lakers in the G League, Josh Hart has developed into a key member on the Los Angeles Lakers roster and played his way into the conversation as being part of the team’s touted young core.
Hart capped off his first year with an impressive stretch of final games, and he carried that momentum into offseason workouts and Summer League. The Lakers only intended for Hart to play one game in both Sacramento and Las Vegas, but he asked for more.
Hart went out and earned Las Vegas Summer League MVP honors and now is in the discussion to potentially start at shooting guard. While it took some time to gain traction and consistency in his rookie season, Hart nonetheless had David West convinced of his talent.
The retired forward revealed Hart was a factor in being convinced it was time to walk away from the game.
U asked me if I knew during the year. This little mofo stood me up in the post twice..Hips were tripping that night. Time to hang it up bruh I said to myself in the game ????????????✊????
— David West (@D_West30) October 5, 2018
“I told him not to take it personal, man. I do that to a lot of big fellas down there,” Hart said of West’s tweet. “It’s cool. That’s one of the OG’s, so that’s cool.”
Like when discussing his Summer League success, Hart quickly shifted the attention to the present and continuing to improve. “Just back to the basics, back to the weight room,” he said.
Lakers head coach Luke Walton has consistently praised the 23-year-old for his versatility both on offense and defense. Walton also said Hart boasts supreme confidence even in cases where he is defending a much bigger player.
To the second-year wing, it’s all part of the process. “If I’m out there setting screens, I’m whatever,” he said of potentially evolving into a power forward. “I do whatever is asked of me. I can play the one to the four.
“I think that’s played in my favor, being able to be versatile. That helps in the minutes aspect.”
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