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Mario Hezonja Could Find Solid Reserve Role with Trail Blazers

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Jonathan Wasserman of Bleacher Report includes the forward in a list of former lottery picks to watch in 2019-20

NBA: New York Knicks at Houston Rockets Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports

The Portland Trail Blazers made a few high-profile moves during the 2019 NBA free agency and trade period. They also signed Mario Hezonja. The former 5th overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft hasn’t produced as hoped during his first four seasons, but Jonathan Wasserman of Bleacher Report includes him among several former lottery picks who might benefit from a change of scenery next season.

Wasserman’s forecast:

Exciting flashes of athleticism and scoring have kept hope alive for Mario Hezonja, but erratic decision-making and inconsistency have made him expendable to the Orlando Magic and New York Knicks.

He’ll fit in better with the Portland Trail Blazers, a veteran playoff team whose second unit could use some of his potent offense, even it remains volatile.

His playing time will still fluctuate based on which Hezonja shows up that day since the bad one creates frustration with silly shots and turnovers. The good one can lift Portland’s bench and inject the lineup with confident shot-making, slashing and defensive playmaking.

Other players in Wasserman’s list include former Los Angeles Lakers point guard Lonzo Ball, Golden State pickups Willie Cauley-Stein and D’Angelo Russell, and Julius Randle of the New York Knicks.