With training camp just around the corner all of the Los Angeles Lakers will soon come together as they prepare for the 2017-18 season. One player hoping to make an immediate impact is rookie guard Josh Hart.
A four-year player at Villanova who helped them win a National Championship in 2016, many looked at Hart as someone who could come in and have a role. Unfortunately for him, he was injured in the Lakers’ first Summer League game so he has flown under the radar this offseason.
That hasn’t stopped Hart from understanding his potential role on this team as he appeared on The Popcorn Machine Podcast with Joey Ramirez and said that he wants to be a defensive stopper for the Lakers:
“I want to be a defensive stopper. That’s one thing, I want to go against the best players at my positions, the best guards and put myself to the test. That’s what my goals are for this year and just keep getting better.”
Being a true ‘3-and-D’ player is exactly why Hart was drafted and will get him on the floor. Hart was the Big East Co-Defensive Player of the Year as a senior and shot over 40 percent from three-point range. If he can show that ability, Luke Walton will find a spot for him in the rotation.
Hart will be facing some tough competition to crack the rotation however as veteran Corey Brewer will be fighting him for minutes. Additionally, point guard Tyler Ennis having a role would also cut into Hart’s potential minutes as Jordan Clarkson is clearly the first guard off the bench at the moment.
Nonetheless, the fact that Hart understands his strengths and will play within himself helps him in this situation. The Lakers are in sore need of any above average defensive players and if Hart fits the bill he will find himself on the court.