Atlanta Hawks: 5 Unorthodox Free Agents Team Could Sign

T.J. McConnell against the Atlanta Hawks (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)
T.J. McConnell against the Atlanta Hawks (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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Atlanta Hawks
Mario Hezonja against the Atlanta Hawks (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

Mario Hezonja, Unrestricted Free Agent

Mario Hezonja, the 5th overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft, spent the first 3 seasons of his career with the Orlando Magic.

Though he has been a fairly damaging player on the court for much of his career, Hezonja broke out somewhat in his last season in Orlando and put up the highest player efficiency rating, win shares and box plus/minus of his career.

This year, as a member of the New York Knicks, he has produced two of the most shocking highlights of the year across the entire league. First, he posterized and stepped over likely MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo:

Then, he blocked LeBron James on an attempted jumper to seal a rare New York Knicks win this season:

Wow. Just to reiterate, those are two highlights on two of the best players in the game this season, though of course LeBron suffered the most difficult injury of his career, which sapped his athleticism in a way that no injury has before.

Still, though, if Hezonja can provide that same braggadocio and verve that he brought to the Big Apple in Atlanta, I feel like he and Trae Young will get along swimmingly.

Also, Hezonja has never played alongside a passer as good as Trae Young or a rim-runner as good as John Collins or even a pure shooter as good as Kevin Huerter. Perhaps the Hawks’ team construct will allow Hezonja to untap more of his upside than any team has before.

Once again, a minimum contract will likely be all that is required to make this happen.