Mario Hezonja (Croatia, Shooting Guard/Small Forward)
Shooting Guard/6’8/200/Age: 20
FC Barcelona via Dubrovnik, Croatia
Quick Stats (Spanish ACB League)
4.8 points/game, 1.9 assists/game, 1.3 assists/game
Croatia’s Mario Hezonja has debated entering the draft for a couple of years now. After testing the waters in 2014, he is now ready to make the jump to the NBA following an OK season in the Spanish ACB League. Hezonja’s production dropped off significantly but scouts and executives are enamored with the 6’8, athletic wing enough to warrant a possible top-10 selection.
A solid ball-handler, shooter and athlete, Hezonja is a great option for any lottery team willing to take a chance developing a “boom or bust” talent. He is an improving defender who is clever enough to pick up the game’s subtle nuances before long. Although some have criticized his attitude, Hezonja’s confidence is the main reason why he is valued so highly.
-Very athletic wing with good finishing ability around the rim; excellent size for the position (6’8); intense competitor, loves to get after it defensively
-Loads of potential at the two guard spot; scores with relative ease, game should translate well in the NBA
-Good shooter off the dribble and in spot-up situations
-Needs to add bulk to withstand the physicality on the next level
-Has to learn how to play more within a “team” framework; can get out of control at times
-Questionable maturity, as expected with a prospect of such a young age
D.O.G. Status: Mario could be a very versatile wing threat with his athleticism and improving shooting ability. The key for him is to keep playing with his patented swag and confidence even if he struggles to get playing time in year 1.
NBA Comparison: Rudy Fernandez