Spanish league swingman Mario Hezonja decided against entering the 2014 draft, reports Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress (Twitter link). Sunday was the deadline for players to declare. Chad Ford of ESPN.com has Hezonja as the 27th-best prospect for this year, while Givony has already moved him into next year’s category, putting him sixth in his 2015 mock draft.
Hezonja, who turned 19 in February, has seen limited time for FC Barcelona Regal in his first season at the top level of Spanish basketball, scoring just 3.8 points in 9.3 minutes per game. Still, his combination of shooting and athleticism makes him a top prospect. He shot 39% on 1.3 three-point attempts per contest this season.
The native of Croatia might have ranked fourth or fifth among shooting guards in this year’s draft, but he appears to have a chance to become one of next year’s top five overall picks. He won’t be automatically draft-eligible until 2017, so he has plenty of time to develop and further refine his game for NBA scouts.