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Trail Blazers Media Day 2022: Josh Hart Wants to Start

The veteran guard isn’t settling for a bench role if he can help it.

Portland Trail Blazers v Brooklyn Nets Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images

Portland Trail Blazers Media Day 2022 featured interviews with nearly all of the Trail Blazers roster and front office. Among the more interesting was the microphone turn of wing Josh Hart. Hart joined the Blazers midway through last season, part of the trade that sent tenured guard CJ McCollum to the New Orleans Pelicans. Hart scored 20 points per game in limited duty for the Blazers but never got to play with a full lineup. That situation will be remedied this season, but Hart also has a contract option that could make him a free agent at the end of the year. Hart’s priorities and performance will go a long way towards determining his future in Portland, if any.

As Danny Marang of Blazer’s Edge and 1080 The Fan cites, Hart is angling for a starting position in the lineup, even knowing the field is crowded:

I don’t know - I’ll Ah e to have that conversation with Chauncey . I’ve shown that I can handle that role, I showed it in New Orleans and here … I’d like to be on ball more - but that’s a conversation that Chauncey and I will probably have on the golf course in Santa Barbara.

If you look at championship tens they have 6-8 guys that can start in any team. It’s never a bad thing to have a hunch if guys who can start to take that role on.

Hart also talked a bit about Head Coach Chauncey Billups:

On Billuos, he’s someone who knows his way around. You have to know how to navigate things that - most people quite frankly on the other side don’t care about. He genuinely does.

He’s someone on the basketball side that will hold you accountable. He’s going to do it.

I’ve had 5 1/2 coaches if you want to count Bron and Rondo - Willie would coach you up, Walton wants to get to know you and what’s best for you then you have Chauncey who wants what’s best for you on/off the floor and more than anything hold you accountable.

Like many Blazers players, Hart heaped praise on teammate Damian Lillard:

Dame is someone who just wants the best for you & he’s someone who wants to win here, he’s someone you can talk to about any ring and he lets you know when you’re messing up.

I’m very anxious to see how it is to play with him. I’ve taken enough 40 balls from him, be nice to be on.

Check around the site for summaries of other Trail Blazers Media Day 2022 interviews.