Hart had been in competition with Justise Winslow and Nassir Little.
The small forward position was the only remaining open spot in the starting lineup.
Before the beginning of training camp, head coach Chauncey Billups announced the starting small forward position was up for grabs with Hart, Justise Winslow and Nassir Little in contention.
Hart subsequently started the Blazers’ first preseason bout with the Los Angeles Clippers, Winslow started against the Utah Jazz and Little got his chance against Maccabi Ra’anana on Thursday, although none of Portland’s top rotation played that night.
Hart arrived in Portland as part of the trade that sent CJ McCollum to the New Orleans Pelicans in February. In 13 games with the Blazers last season, the 6’5 Hart put up averages of 19.9 points on 37% three-point shooting, 5.4 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 1.2 steals.
The news breaks just hours before the tip-off of Portland’s fourth game of the preseason schedule against the Sacramento Kings.
UPDATE: According to Trail Blazers reporter Casey Holdahl, Billups has confirmed Fentress’ report that Hart will start at small forward during the regular season. Billups also has announced Hart will start at small forward tonight against the Kings.