NBA Teams
ESPN.com 44d

Rumor Central: Can Frank Vogel find best role for Mario Hezonja?

The Orlando Magic selected Mario Hezonja with the No. 5 pick in the 2015 NBA draft and so far his tenure has been a disappointment. Hezonja has not been consistent with his shooting during the preseason, as head coach Frank Vogel has played him at small forward and power forward.

"He had some good stretches," Vogel told the Orlando Sentinel. "He's still got to just play. He's still a young player, and he missed the whole summer [playing 5-on-5], and he’s just got to get out there and play the game."

When the regular season begins on Oct. 18 against the Miami Heat, Hezonja is projected to be near the bottom of the small forward and power forward depth charts.

"It sucks to be on the bench," Hezonja said. “It sucks to be looking from the side and not participating. But that’s a coach’s decision."

In 65 appearances during the 2016-17 season, Hezonja averaged 14.8 minutes, 4.9 points and 2.2 rebounds. Hezonja made just 29.9 percent of his 3-point attempts.

The Magic have until Oct. 31 to pick up Hezonja's 2018-19 team option that is worth $5.16 million. If it's declined, Hezonja will be an unrestricted free agent in 2018.

-- Nick Silva

^ Back to Top ^