Orlando will decline the 2018/19 team option on Mario Hezonja‘s contract, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.com tweets. The swingman was the No. 5 overall pick in the 2015 draft.
Earlier today, we learned that the Sixers would not be picking up Jahlil Okafor‘s 2018/19 option, which makes the 2015 draft the first since the 2009 class to have a pair of players in the top six see their final season’s options declined, as ESPN’s Bobby Marks notes on Twitter. Back in 2011, the Grizzlies decided against keeping Hasheem Thabeet, while the Wolves turned down Jonny Flynn‘s fourth-year option.
The Magic are reportedly exploring the trade market for Hezonja, having discussed a deal with multiple teams. The Kings were one of the clubs and a proposed arrangement would have seen Malachi Richardson and a second-round pick head to Orlando. However, a deal has yet to materialize.
Hezonja was set to make roughly $5.17MM next season. Instead, he’ll hit the free agent market this summer as an unrestricted free agent in search of a new deal.
One thought on “Magic Will Decline Mario Hezonja’s 2018/19 Team Option”
It’s sad because this guy was picked one pick after Porzingis (Mario was drafted #5) and Magic were going to draft Porzingis both drafts (2014 Magic owned the #4 and #12 picks, and they promised him he wouldnt get past #12, but Porzingis still withdrew his name from the 2014 draft to further develop. And Magic still kept tabs on him, but they knew he wasn’t getting past NY@ 4.
This Mario Hezonja guy still came with plenty of hype, but sadly it wasn’t meant to be.
Good news? Okafor was drafted 1 pick before KP, and he’s on the trade block, with rumors swirling (as of today) he’s fed up and pushing the 76ers for a buyout.