1. Offensive Upside
When Mario Hezonja was going through the NBA Draft process, a consistent comparison emerged. It was ambitious, I admit, but analysts and coaches spoke of the shades of Tracy McGrady that could be seen in his game.
It’s unlikely that Hezonja will ever produce at the same level as the former two-time scoring champion, but there’s still upside to explore.
There are also signs that he’s beginning to realize it.
The 6’8″ Hezonja posted career-best averages of 15.7 points and 2.0 three-point field goals per 36 minutes during the 2017-18 season. He scored at least 20 points in six different games after doing so just once between the 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons.
Hezonja also improved his catch and shoot three-point field goal percentage by 2.8 percent, and increased his midrange percentage by 10.7 percent.
Furthermore, Hezonja played 58 percent of his minutes at power forward during the 2017-18 season. That’s an appealing truth for a Knicks team that’s attempting to build a positionless system that will space the floor and value the outside shot.
Throw in the fact that David Fizdale’s coaching staff focuses heavily on helping players finish with control at the rim, and Hezonja’s strengths and weaknesses both fit.
Whether it’s a one-year deal or a multi-year gamble, Mario Hezonja would be a low-risk, high-reward type of signing for the New York Knicks.