Lakers, Trail Blazers to meet for Summer League title again

Lynette Rowe
July 20, 2018

Josh Hart didn't play in the Summer League a year ago, when the Los Angeles Lakers won their league's championship with rookie point guard Lonzo Ball, as he was dealing with an injury at the time.

And if this summer is of any indication he could be getting even better.

As a senior last season, Berry earned first-team All-ACC honors after averaging 17.1 points, 3.5 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 1.2 steals in 33.1 minutes per game.

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The purple and gold might have lost the Summer League championship game, but they have gained so much more.

President Magic Johnson was so excited by what he saw from the shooting guard that he declared he can put himself in contention for a starting spot on the Lakers team next season. Given that his career three-point percentage in college was 38.9%, his solid season from deep past year appears to be no fluke. They signed Rajon Rondo, JaVale McGee and Lance Stephenson instead. Alex Caruso is also back for Los Angeles. His improvement on defense was also mentioned, and his performance will likely give him a shot for more playing time in the 2018-19 National Basketball Association season. Hart looked like one of the most talented players on the Lakers before fracturing his hand and missing time of his own. There, he averaged 13.5 points, 91 rebounds and 2.1 blocks per game. The 18-point margin of victory marked the biggest blowout in the six-year history of the event's championship game, eclipsing the Warriors' 14-point win over the Suns in the inaugural title game in 2013. Within two minutes, he stole the ball on two consecutive Lakers possessions. It should come as no surprise that Wendell Carter Jr. and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who were among the picks for the best rookie in summer league in our 5-on-5 on Monday, crack the leaderboard.

Again, it's just the Summer League, but at least the team has another positive to carry with them the rest of the summer. The last few days included his appearance at the Lakers game on Sunday in Vegas and a meeting with Lakers head coach Luke Walton.

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