Josh Hart has been named the 2018 NBA Las Vegas Summer League Most Valuable Player and headlines the All-NBA Summer League First Team.
After Hart averaged 7.9 points (46.9 percent shooting from the field and 39.6 percent shooting from the three-point line) and 4.2 rebounds in 63 games during the 2017-18 NBA season, he has been working on his three-point shooting and ballhandling during the offseason.
While the No. 30 pick in the 2017 NBA Draft was expected to play just one game during the California Classic and Las Vegas Summer League, he ended up playing in every game as an opportunity to showcase his improvement.
Prior to the Summer League championship game against the Portland Trail Blazers, Hart averaged 24.2 points (47.1 percent shooting from the field), 5.2 rebounds, and 1.5 steals in six games.
Heading into the 2018-19 season, Hart is looking to take the next step in his development. With LeBron James signing a four-year, $154 million deal with the Los Angeles Lakers in free agency, the focus has shifted from developing the young core to competing for championships.
Out of the young core, Hart is expected to play a major role as the ideal 3-and-D player alongside James. As the 33-year-old has won three championships in eight consecutive NBA Finals appearances with the Miami Heat and Cleveland Cavaliers with shooters, Hart has an opportunity to play major minutes.
Head coach Luke Walton revealed there will be an open competition for the team’s starting lineup excluding James. Although Kentavious Caldwell-Pope is projected to be the team’s starting shooting guard after re-signing on a one-year, $12 million deal, it will be competitive between him and Hart.