Hart enters the title tilt averaging a league-high 24.2 points per game, a mark that was bolstered by a 37-point outburst in the Lakers' 112-109 double-overtime win against the Cleveland Cavaliers in the semifinals.
"Guy's been an absolute stud game in and game out," Lakers summer-league coach Miles Simon told the team's official website. "He's been tremendous."
He also earned major praise from Lakers president of basketball operations Magic Johnson.
"Some guys better watch out because he's pushing to start," Johnson told reporters last week, according to the Los Angeles Times' Tania Ganguli.
The Lakers' depth chart is suddenly crowded on the wing with Lance Stephenson and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope both penciled into the depth chart at shooting guard, but it's hard to knock Hart's credentials.
The 23-year-old shot 46.9 percent from the field as a rookie, and he led all Lakers players (minimum 500 minutes played) with a 39.6 percent conversion rate from beyond the arc—including 41.3 percent on long-distance catch-and-shoot opportunities.
In a Lakers offense that's suddenly craving floor-spacers alongside LeBron James, it's easy to envision Hart rocketing up the depth chart and giving L.A. some added offensive versatility if he can continue the ascent toward the top of his developmental parabola.
Stats courtesy of NBA.com.