JULY 6: The Knicks have officially signed Hezonja, according to the NBA’s transactions log.
JULY 1: The Knicks have agreed to a one-year, $6.5MM pact with small forward Mario Hezonja, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN tweets. The 23-year-old comes off of a career-best season in which he averaged 9.6 points in 22.1 minutes per game for the Magic.
Prior to the 2017/18 season, the Magic elected not to pick up the 2015 fifth-overall pick’s fourth-year option and the Croatian swingman responded with a notable increase in production. In 11 February contests, for example, Hezonja averaged 15.5 points and 5.0 rebounds per game.
As we relayed earlier today, Marc Berman of The New York Post had reported that the Knicks had put an offer on the table for Hezonja worth a portion of the club’s $8.641MM mid-level exception. These reported terms would fall in line with that, leaving enough of the MLE available for New York to ink second-round pick Mitchell Robinson, something the club had been set on doing.
While Hezonja had reportedly been seeking a multiyear deal, the Knicks want to retain as much cap flexibility as possible for the 2019 offseason, and only plan on offering one-year guarantees this summer.
The buy-low addition of Hezonja, a young, recent lottery pick, will add depth to New York’s rotation. Hezonja will compete with Tim Hardaway Jr. and Courtney Lee for minutes on the wing, assuming the latter remains on the roster.
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According to a subsequent Wojnarowski tweet, the Blazers, Kings and Grizzlies were also in the mix for Hezonja’s services.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.