23 - Mario Hezonja

6-8, 215 Shooting Guard/Small Forward
croatia.gif Croatia International
02/25/95 (24.7 yrs)
Dubrovnik, Croatia
Team Site Profile
Jump Shot
NBA Ready
Ball Handling

NBA Comparision: Rex Chapman

Strenghts: Standing 6-8, he has ideal size for the wing position … Has a solid structure and high level athleticism even by NBA standards … He has bulked up some, adding muscle to his frame over the last couple seasons, training with top level athletes in a competitive environment … He combines good size with amazing body control, athleticism and leaping abilities, showing a quick first step and explosiveness … Offensively he’s a solid shooter, with an improved shooting form, a quick release and unlimited range, even far away behind the three point line … His offensive repertoire includes spot up shots from the corners, pull-up jumpers or finishing by attacking the rim, where he’s able to fully utilize his athleticism … He’s an underrated passer whowing the ability to find teamates with solid court vision and basketball IQ … He has improved his off the ball game, displaying the ability to find the proper spot and timing … Defensively, he’s able to guard basically two positions (2 and 3) in Europe (and probably in US) combining his speed, size and quick hands … He shows ttremendous instincts in jumping passing lanes … Thanks to his size, he’s also an above the average rebounder for the wing… He’s really confident on his talent, he’s really comfortable in clutch situations …

Weaknesses: He still could work on his body strength to better withstand contact in the NBA … He lacks a solid mid-range game, which is the area where he struggles the most … He’s effective in ISO situations, but he tends to need a screen or generally a situation that creates an advantage for him, since when he’s forced to create a basket from off the dribble, he is less effective than other elite prospects … Despite his improved shot selection, he still tends to look for his shot instead of finding an open man when the defense is good, even though he has solid passing skills … His off the ball defense is not effective enough, since he lacks focus and positioning, furthermore he tends to be too aggressive in the closeouts leading to useless fouls … This could be considered his breakout season concerning his performances, but the consistency is still a sticky point, especially from one game to the next … He has worked a lot on his temper, but his fiery nature and cocky attitude is still his trademark, and can get him in trouble at times …

Notes: He grew up with KK Dubrovnik (Croatia) juniors and he made his debut with the senior team during the 2008-09 season … He played there in the 2009-10 championship, but the following season he moved to KK Zagreb where he played also the 2011-12 championship. He moved to Spain for the 2012-13 season, signed by FC Barcelona, also played with the second team, LEB-Gold till last season. He had 20 pts, 8 rbs and 3 assists with the MVP trophy at 2011 U16 European championships, when Croatia won the gold medal … That summer he also played for the U19 team at the world cup (three years under age) averaging 8 points and 2 rebounds … The following summer he won the bronze medal at the 2012 World U-17 Championship, and despite the fact that he was recovering from mononucleosis he closed the competition with 21 points and 8 rebounds on average … He was part of Croatian senior national team at last world cup … He’s averaging 5 points 2 rebounds and 2 assists in ACB thus far, with a season high of 24 points and 6 assists against Manresa. He’s averaging 8 points in Euroleague with a season high 22 points against Real Madrid.

Davide Bortoluzzi 4/21/15

Strengths: Smooth, athletic guard with enormous potential … Right now at 16: he was born in 1995, he can already play at a high level in Europe … Probably is the best European prospect at his position since Drazen Petrovic and honestly has more potential: on the court he can do everything … Prototypical SG size for the NBA with excellent leaping ability … A natural and aggressive scorer: he has great jump shot, with good spot up/pull up ability … His long arms and athleticism also make him very efficient finishing at the rim; against opponents smaller than him he also knows how to utilize a post up game … He can pass: he is tall for the role and he has a terrific vision, so he can even play like point guard or point forward … He can takes rebound: with is body skills he is a good rebounder for his size thanks to his aggressiveness and athleticism and he plays clutch when the game is close … He’s really an exciting player … He’s also a good ball handler and he runs very well in fast break and in transition … He also shows good anticipation defensively and has a great knack for jumping passing lanes …

Weaknesses: Hezonja has incredible intensity, but sometimes that manifests itself in him being too hard on himself and especially teammates. He’s been seen getting in the face of teammates when they don’t play up to his expectations … He’s a poor student and considered to be a bit of a wild child off the floor. Gaining some maturity and becoming more of a team player should be something that he focuses on … He’s very young so his long-limbed body is perfect for his age, however he must put on some muscle to play in NBA … In one-on-one defense, he doesn’t always exhibit enough intensity, but sometimes that is understandable in order for him to be as prolific as he is offensively …

Notes: He was named MVP in the last European Championship Under 16 averaging 20 points, 8.2 rebounds, 2.7 assist and 2.2 steals per game …

Giovanni Conte 8/13/11