The Portland Trail Blazers were one of several suitors for current New York Knicks forward Mario Hezonja last summer in NBA Free Agency. At one point, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski even tweeted that Hezonja signed with the Blazers, before taking it back and correcting it to New York.
As Hezonja is set to enter free agency again this summer, he spoke about his season in New York with Marc Berman of the New York Post. He states that he has no regrets about choosing the Knicks’ one-year deal over two-year deals offered by teams like the Blazers and Sacramento Kings:
Hezonja weighed two-year offers from Portland and Sacramento but chose the Knicks’ one-year, $6.5 million package.
“I had many opportunities when we met with playoff teams,’’ Hezonja said. “This was my choice. I stand by it strongly. I chose David Fizdale, [team president] Steve Mills and Scott Perry was already there. I know Steve wanted me on draft night [in 2015]. Even through a bad season, I stand strongly and firmly with it. That’s how you figure out how who is who. Through bad and worse, you figure out what kind of relationship we have. And we stand together.’’
It seems to be new information that Portland offered Hezonja a two-year deal, but it’s not clear what the terms of that deal were.
The 6-foot-8 forward just turned 24 years old and spent his three previous seasons with the Orlando Magic. He has only appeared in 48 games for the Knicks this season while dealing with injuries; he’s currently averaging 7.6 points and 3.7 rebounds in 19.1 minutes per game.