12 Potential Targets in Free Agency for Atlanta Hawks

MILWAUKEE, WI - MARCH 21: Jabari Parker
MILWAUKEE, WI - MARCH 21: Jabari Parker /
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ORLANDO, FL – MARCH 28: Mario Hezonja
ORLANDO, FL – MARCH 28: Mario Hezonja /

Mario Hezonja

A more exploratory option, Mario Hezonja has been widely panned as a draft bust after being selected by the Orlando Magic with the 5th overall pick in 2015. However, with the trade of Elfrid Payton and injuries up and down the roster, Hezonja has shown far more flashes this season than he has in prior campaigns.

Making an offer to Mario, who will be an unrestricted free agent this offseason, would be more of a high-upside flyer than a sure bet, as some of his stats in his 3 NBA seasons have been less than ideal.

Still though, Hezonja has a clear NBA-ready frame and skill set, which was on full display in a recent showcase game against the Nets, in which he put up 23 points, 7 rebounds and 3 assists. Though he did most of his scoring as an off-ball slasher and spot-up long-range bomber, his ballhandling was quite strong in that bout, showcasing good instincts, and the ability to handle in the pick-and-roll.

Even more recently, Hezonja played against the Hawks and though he didn’t quite reach the lofty heights of his Nets game, he still piled up 14 points, 3 steals and 2 rebounds.

Hezonja is still only 23 and because the Magic didn’t offer a rookie extension to him, he will be an unrestricted free agent this offseason. The impression of Hezonja around the league is “lottery bust,” so it is unlikely that many offers will be made.

If the Hawks can put a cost-effective contract on the table, Hezonja might be worth a shot in order to try and discover his untapped potential.