New York Knicks: Five players with something to prove for rest of 2018-19

New York Knicks Frank Ntilikina (Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images)
New York Knicks Frank Ntilikina (Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images) /
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New York Knicks Mario Hezonja (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

4. Mario Hezonja

Slash Line: .397/.277/.701
Stat Line: 7.6 PPG, 3.6 RPG, 1.0 APG, 0.9 SPG, 0.7 3PM

At $6.5 million, Mario Hezonja was the New York Knicks’ most expensive signing last offseason. General manager Scott Perry was part of the Orlando Magic group that selected the Croatian forward in the 2015 NBA Draft, one slot behind Kristaps Porzingis.

Unfortunately for Hezonja, issues that plagued him in Orlando — streaky shooting, inconsistent defense, questionable on-court decisions — have arisen in New York since the season opener.

Hezonja has fallen out of Fizdale’s rotation multiple times due to the aforementioned weaknesses in his game. As the roster changed with trades and releases he recouped some minutes, but that fell off quickly.

Since Feb. 1, the 23 year old has 7.3 points, 5.5 rebounds and 1.3 assists on 38.6 percent shooting in 20.7 minutes. He was inactive in the Knicks’ final game before the All-Star break and played just six minutes in his previous appearance.

Time is running out for Hezonja to make an impact. His play has not warranted another Knicks contract. Maybe someone else will take a change this summer but, if not, there could be international opportunities available, given his three years of EuroLeague experience.

Especially with the emergence of Jenkins, Kadeem Allen and the impending return of injured players, it has Hezonja on the outside, looking in. He may not recover from that before the season ends.