Los Angeles Lakers: Josh Hart building his case for Summer League MVP

Los Angeles Lakers, Josh Hart, Allonzo Trier (Photo by Sam Wasson/Getty Images)
Los Angeles Lakers, Josh Hart, Allonzo Trier (Photo by Sam Wasson/Getty Images) /

Los Angeles Lakers shooting guard, Josh Hart, is making a strong case to be the Las Vegas Summer League MVP.

The Los Angeles Lakers have had another impressive showing this year in the Las Vegas Summer League. The NBA’s Vegas Summer League expanded this year to include all 30 NBA teams for the first time.

Each team normally is comprised of a mixture of rookies and second-year players looking to develop more and showcase their stuff. Though, Lakers second-year guard Josh Hart doesn’t really fit that description.

Despite that, he’s stood out among summer league players as being clearly ready to consistently compete for an NBA team. His play has him in position to be considered for the Summer League MVP award.

After having a solid rookie campaign, Hart is the only Lakers rookie from last season playing in Vegas this summer. Fellow rookies Lonzo Ball and Kyle Kuzma were given off from having Vegas duties due to their standout rookie seasons.

However, Hart has gained similar respect after showcasing his talents in three straight Lakers’ wins at Vegas.


Hart has shown with his play that he is a valuable young asset and that his name equally belongs in conversations about the Lakers “young core”.

Across three games, Hart has proved that he’s ready to make an impact for the Lakers this upcoming season. He’s averaged 23.3 points, 4.7 rebounds, 3 assists and 1.3 steals per game. He’s also been an efficient ball-handler, averaging only 1 turnover per game.

I wrote in the past about Hart’s upside. He’s an underrated asset that the Lakers have. His skills will be incredibly useful in the future. While the Lakers’ roster currently includes a more experienced 3-and-D player in Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, expect Hart to grow into that role for the Lakers moving forward. His shooting in summer league has bolstered the notion that he will thrive as a spot up shooter.

In Vegas, Josh Hart owns a 48 percent shooting percentage on 22-of-46 shots. He’s also been stellar from deep, shooting 44.4 percent on 12-of 27-shots.

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The Lakers expected this exact production from Hart going into summer league. In fact, Miles Simon, Player Development staff with the Lakers, knew Hart was going to showcase his newly developed skills.

The level of play Hart has displayed has even caught the attention of new teammate LeBron James. According to NBA.com, GM Rob Pelinka had the following to say.

"“He’s been watching summer league games, [he] brought up Josh Hart.”"

With such a strong showing at summer league so far, Hart has made a solid case to win the MVP award for this year. He’s been one of the more steady and reliable players at summer league. His play has helped guide his team to a No. 1 seed for the playoff bracket.

If the Lakers can keep their winning streak going, they could possibly repeat as Summer League Champions. Additionally, if Hart could pick up some MVP hardware, he’d join teammate Lonzo Ball as Lakers to win the award.

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Hart has earned a place in the discussion for Las Vegas Summer League MVP. If he wins the award, it will serve as validation. It will prove that he is going to make an impact for the Lakers in the future. Here’s to hoping Josh Hart continues this brilliant run. Perhaps a Lakers player takes home the MVP trophy for the second year in a row.