While the Los Angeles Lakers front office continues ahead with evaluating 2018 NBA Draft prospects, their young core is hard at work themselves. Josh Hart and Kyle Kuzma have documented their visits to the UCLA Health Training Center, with Hart’s latest visit coming Wednesday.
Like Kuzma had in recent days, he watched the Lakers pre-draft workout before beginning his own on-court work. And again in similar fashion to Kuzma, who was named to the NBA All-Rookie First Team, Hart focused on dribbling.
With instruction from Lakers assistant coach Miles Simon, Hart went through a variety of drills that included dribbling the ball between his legs and throwing one-handed passes. Speed and control were among the points of emphasis.
Hart proved to be an effective defender and 3-point shooter, but was adamant he was not simply a ‘3-and-D’ player. It’s a label that was applied to him prior to the 2017 Draft, and one Lakers head coach Luke Walton agreed didn’t aptly describe Hart.
Despite battling injuries prior to and during the season, Hart put together a productive campaign while appearing in 63 games (23 starts). He averaged 7.9 points, 4.2 rebounds and 1.3 asssits.
Hart was particularly effective after returning from a hand fracture, when he averaged 16.5 points and 7.1 rebounds in eight games (three starts) to finish out the regular season. Included in that was four consecutive games with at least 20 points.
Hart joined Utah’s Donovan Mitchell, Phoenix’s Josh Jackson and Kuzma as the only rookies to accomplish such a feat this season. He also finished as the Lakers’ best 3-point shooter, knocking down 39.6 percent of his attempts.
That type of production and tenacity with which he played, led to Lakers president of basketball operations Magic Johnson saying he’d like to build a team with 20 versions of Hart.
As part of our efforts to help you understand how we handle the personal information you share with us, and in preparation for the new European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), we’ve updated our Privacy & Cookies Policy. The updated Privacy & Cookies Policy will take effect on May 22, 2018. By using our services on or after that date, you’ll be agreeing to our updated Privacy & Cookies Policy. We recommend that you read our updated Privacy & Cookies Policy in full.