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2015 Draft Profile | Mario Hezonja

by Kyle Ratke, Digital Content Manager

Digital Content Manager

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Disclaimer: This piece does not reflect the views of the Minnesota Timberwolves.

SG-SF, Barcelona, 20 years old

6’8", 200 lbs

Stats In 2014-15 (according to RealGM.com):

60 games, 15.3 MPG, 5.8 PPG, 2.0 RPG, 1.2 APG, 0.7 SPG, 45.8 FG%, 37.6 3P%, 75 FT%

Where He’ll Go In The Draft:

Hezonja is expected to be a top-10 pick.

Hezonja’s name has been circling around NBA fans for what seems like a while now, but he’s still just 20 years old. And even with the talk of Hezonja and his potential, he’s still a bit of a mystery after playing for Barcelona last season.

His numbers aren’t overly impressive, but if we’ve learned anything over the years, it’s that numbers don’t really mean a whole lot as far as rating prospects.

Hezonja is athletic and can shoot. He’s got good size for a shooting guard, but can probably fit in at the two or three if need be. He’s really the total package as far as his potential and what he’s shown thus far. He can run and finish at the rim. He can hit threes. He can put the ball on the floor and drive. He’s a decent ball handler.

You might be thinking to yourself, why isn’t this guy the No.1 pick in the draft? It’s because he’s had trouble staying consistent. He has a tough time stringing solid games together and body language is an issue. Shot selection has also been a concern.

By no means is he a lockdown defender, but he can be an average or even a good defender if he focuses more. That’s common, though, with a player his age. 

Ratke's Take

I like Hezonja and think that if he can put it all together, he has a chance to be the best player in the draft. There are a few red flags, though. The body language thing is a major concern in my mind, especially with making the transition to the NBA. When young guys get down on themselves, it can take a while for them to dig out of that hole.

He also goes into “heat check” mode without actually being in “heat check” mode – J.R. Smith style. Sometimes this is great. Sometimes this is horrible. If he gets a hard-nosed coach, he’ll have to adjust and grow up on the fly.

The talent is there with Hezonja. You just hope the maturity and basketball IQ is there is well. 

Twitter Talk

Quotable

“Mario Hezonja, the 6’8” Croatian, who is the only player in this draft that I think eventually could win both the NBA dunk and three-point contest.” – ESPN college basketball analyst Fran Fraschilla on Mario Hezonja.

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