The Los Angeles Lakers have been extremely busy on draft night as they were armed with three first-round drafts at number two, 27 (from the unofficial D’Angelo Russell trade), and 28.
The Lakers wouldn’t stay put however as they dealt the 28th pick to the Utah Jazz, moving down a couple of spots to number 30 and picking up a second-round pick in the process.
With that pick they took Villanova shooting guard Josh Hart. Shams Charania of The Vertical was the first to break the news:
Sources: Lakers are selecting Josh Hart with the No. 30 overall pick in the NBA Draft.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) June 23, 2017
The pick makes a lot of sense for the Lakers who have stressed that defense and shooting are their two most pressing needs. Hart checks both of those boxes.
He was an excellent shooter and overall scorer at Villanova, averaging more than 18 points per game and shooting over 40 percent from three-point range. Additionally he is a hard-nosed defender who should be able to guard both backcourt positions.
Hart did spend all four years in college so while he may not have the upside of some other prospects, he should be able to contribute very early on at a position of need. Nick Young has officially declined his player option for next year so Hart will help replace Young’s spot in the rotation.
With the second overall pick the Lakers took Lonzo Ball who should immediately boost the backcourt and Hart hopes to do the same. Taking Utah stretch-4 Kyle Kuzma at number 27 should help the Lakers front court as well and with one more pick to go, it is anyone’s guess as to what the Lakers will do.