It takes the right blend of championship pedigree and maturity to play alongside LeBron James. All of Los Angeles is ready to envision Lonzo Ball throwing lobs to the four-time MVP, but in the process they're losing sight of their most valuable guard: Josh Hart.
Despite all the hype and potential surrounding the former UCLA superstar, it's Hart proving he belongs in L.A. This franchise doesn't tolerate sloppy performances or distractions, which includes the ludicrous statements made by LaVar Ball. However, none of those are attributes that characterize the ex-Villanova product.
Hart brings a competitive fire to the Lakers every time he steps on the hardwood. Even when suiting up for the Summer League, the talented guard is giving 100 percent effort.
2018 Summer League PPG:— RealGM (@RealGM) July 12, 2018
1. John Collins: 24.0
2. Josh Hart: 23.3
3. Kevin Knox: 23.3
4. Devin Robinson: 21.5
5. Trevon Bluiett: 21.0https://t.co/2XMGEJksLt
More importantly, his basketball intangibles coexist better with King James than any other guard on their roster.
While Lonzo's mediocre 36 percent shooting from the field and lackluster jumper raise concerns, Hart finished the past season with an impressive 39.6 field-goal percentage from beyond the arc.
Did we forget to mention that he's a collegiate national champion?
LeBron thrives off teammates that can connect on catch-and-shoot opportunities, which is right in Hart's wheelhouse. During the 2017-18 season, the rookie guard connected on nearly 42 percent of his catch-and-shoot triples. Clearly, the King is enamored with his future teammate.
“(LeBron) is watching summer league games and brought up Josh Hart’s name.” - Rob Pelinka— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) July 11, 2018
This is why...pic.twitter.com/ndKiJWNrFv
After James posted the best numbers of his career in a point forward role, playing alongside players that don't dribble out the clock is key. That might call for adjustments to Lonzo Ball's game, but the same can't be said for Hart.
He's tough, he's a winner, and he's undoubtedly the future of the Lakers' backcourt.