"I was a little bummed out" - Josh Hart strikes on 76ers ghosting him on draft night despite his NCAA championship run

NBA: Playoffs-Philadelphia 76ers at New York Knicks
Josh Hart strikes on 76ers ghosting him on draft night despite his NCAA championship run

Josh Hart and the Nova Knicks are returning to Philadelphia for Game 3 on Thursday night. Hart and his former Villanova teammates Jalen Brunson and Donte DiVincenzo are coming off a dramatic Game 2 win and are bringing New York back to their old stomping grounds of Philadelphia as the series rolls on.

It's a special city for the players who spent their college years in the City of Brotherly Love. Hart especially loved his time in the city, so much so that he wanted to continue his basketball career in Philadelphia.

When Hart entered the 2017 NBA draft after winning the 2016 national title at Villanova, he was hoping the Sixers would call his name.

That year, Philadelphia had the No. 1 pick and chose Markelle Fultz, while Hart went to the Utah Jazz with the 30th pick before being flipped to the LA Lakers on draft night. The Orlando Magic drafted Anzejs Pascniks from Latvia at No. 25 but traded him to the 76ers for a 2020 first-round pick and a 2020 second-round pick on draft night.

Explore the NBA Draft 2024 with our free NBA Mock Draft Simulator & be the GM of your favorite NBA team.

"I wanted to go here," Hart said. "They were at 25. They did a draft-and-stash, some European guy that I can’t pronounce his name. But this is the place I wanted to go. It was right down the street. Unfortunately, they felt they wanted a draft-and-stash. But draft night, I was a little bummed out that 25 came, and I wasn’t there.”

Hart instead was traded on draft day with Thomas Bryant to the LA Lakers for Tony Bradley.

Pasecniks was playing in Spain when he was drafted. The 7-footer never played for the Sixers, who renounced his rights in 2019.

Pasecniks eventually played 28 games over two seasons for the Washington Wizards. He averaged 5.6 points and 4.0 rebounds per game. He now plays for Palencia in Spain.

Josh Hart played two seasons for the Lakers before being dealt to New Orleans in the Anthony Davis trade in July 2019.

He played there for 2.5 seasons before being moved to Portland for CJ McCollum and others in February 2022. Hart landed on the Knicks in a four-way trade in February 2023. He finished this year with 9.4 points per game and a career-high 8.3 rpg.

Now, Josh Hart is exacting revenge on the team that passed on him in the draft. His Knicks hold a 2-0 series lead.

Josh Hart and other steals in the 2017 NBA draft

Josh Hart may have been traded four times in his NBA career. However, he has found his home with the gritty Knicks. He has always been a solid contributor, strong defender and all-out effort guy in the league.

He has played above his No. 30 draft position seven years later. Other late picks in the 2017 NBA draft are contributing to winning teams.

Monte Morris was the 51st pick in that class. He played a large chunk of minutes for the Minnesota Timberwolves in their Game 2 win on Tuesday. He has been a solid backup point guard in his career.

Isaiah Hartenstein and Dillon Brooks were taken 43rd and 45th. Both are starter-caliber players with Hartenstein securing huge rebounds to help the Knicks beat the Sixers in Game 2.

Derrick White went one pick before Josh Hart. He has turned into a vital piece of the Boston Celtics rotation during their historic offensive season this year.

Quick Links

App download animated image Get the free App now