The Los Angeles Lakers drafted four new players this past June, selecting Lonzo Ball with the No. 2 overall pick, followed by Kyle Kuzma (27) and Josh Hart (30) late in the first round, and finally Thomas Bryant (42) in the second round.
The four players have already begun bonding as the Lakers took home the Las Vegas Summer League Championship, which is good because they are about to step into the unknown that is an NBA regular season.
While they all played and had success in college, none of them know what to expect playing against grown men in the NBA and going through the daily grind of an 82-game season.
Josh Hart recently attended training camp of the Los Angeles Rams in Irvine, and he commented on the difficulties he’s noticed so far being a rookie:
“It’s tough and frustrating sometimes just because you have no idea what’s going on. Obviously I was a first round pick so I have a guaranteed contract, but that doesn’t mean you’re gonna play. We’re a very talented team, a very young team so there’s a lot of things up in the air right now. I think we’re headed in the right direction but I haven’t been in an 82-game season, I haven’t played at this level yet. So it’s kind of nerving because you have the uncertainty there but you just have to do those little things and find your niche and show coach, kind of make him put you on the floor.”
Hart played four years at Villanova and won an NCAA National Championship in 2016, so he is more mature than most rookies coming into the league.
Unfortunately though heading into training camp he is behind both Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Jordan Clarkson on the shooting guard depth chart, so he will have to prove what he is capable of if he wants to crack head coach Luke Walton’s rotation.
At Villanova Hart was known for his leadership ability and defensive toughness, which is something the Lakers lacked greatly last season so that could possibly benefit him if the Lakers continue to struggle in those areas to begin the season.