The Los Angeles Lakers have selected Josh Hart out of Villanova with the No. 30 pick in the first round of the 2017 NBA Draft after acquiring the pick in a draft-day trade with the Utah Jazz.
Hart, the Big East’s Player of the Year, should be a fantastic addition to the Lakers’ young core. He averaged 18.7 points per game as a Senior, shooting 40.4 percent from deep. Hart improved in each of the four years he spent at Villanova and adds some much-needed depth in the Lakers’ backcrout.
He could be the three-and-D specialist the Lakers have been looking, also nabbing Defensive Player of the Year honors in the Big East on his way out. A comparison often mentioned when looking at the fact that Hart will likely fall in the draft due to being a four-year player is Malcolm Brogdon, who had a phenomenal college career that translated immediately but fell because of his age.
By all accounts Hart is a high-character person, is literally an Eagle Scout, and even went to the same school as the Obama children did in Washington D.C. Here’s some more insight on Hart, via SB Nation’s Villanova blog:
His work ethic not only shows out on the court where he’s a plus-rebounder from the guard spot and one of the best wing defenders in the country, but off the court as well. He’s a tireless worker who has improved his shot mechanics, defensive foot speed and ball-handling during his career at Villanova to the point where Jay Wright was having him initiate offense in the pick-and-roll during his Senior season. His final season also saw him shoot over 40% from the three-point line, a big improvement from the prior year (35%).
He’s a force to be reckoned with in transition and when he gets going downhill can put a lot of pressure on the defense. He’s got a high-basketball IQ and makes good decisions on offense, and reads passing lanes extremly well on defense.
He’s a proven winner that has been constantly undervalued during his career which has caused him to play with a chip on his shoulder. He will bring the right attitude and comes without any off-court concerns.
Here’s a nice video from our friends at DraftExpress on what Hart brings to the table: