The Los Angeles Lakers’ Las Vegas Summer League experience hasn’t gone as smoothly as hoped, losing their first two games while dealing with a handful of injury scares. The latest setback is Josh Hart suffering a right ankle sprain that will sideline him Monday night against the Sacramento Kings, the team announced Sunday.
“Josh came down, mild right ankle sprain. We’re going to re-evaluate in the morning. We’ll see how he is then,” Lakers summer league coach Jud Buechler said following Game 2 Saturady.
LA went on to rule him out after giving his ankle a night to recover and are set to proceed without Josh for at least one game.
Hart has averaged 10 points per game through two summer league games, filling in solid minutes, especially with Brandon Ingram being yanked from Las Vegas play after going down with a cramp in Game 1. Kyle Kuzma also cramped up in Game 2, but would return in a game where he dropped 31 points.
This opens the door for David Nwaba to play an even larger role. The Lakers have shown faith in the 24-year-old guard who went undrafted last season, picking up their team option on his contract. He’s hopeful competing in Las Vegas will be a building block in his improvement during the summer.
“There’s a little improvement. It’s important for me to get out there and compete against good competition like this, and just build confidence in myself. It’ll eventually keep improving and show results,” Nwaba said after the Lakers’ loss to the Boston Celtics.
It’s an unfortunate bounce for Hart, the No. 30 pick of the draft taken in hopes of unearthing the three-and-D specialist the backcourt desperately needs. Hopefully it’s only a minor setback and Hart can get back on the floor again before summer league wraps up.