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The LB NBA Mock Draft: The Orlando Magic Select Mario Hezonja #5 Overall

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“I don’t know much, but I know I love you. And that may be … all I need … to know.”

This pick worked out for Orlando
This pick worked out for Orlando
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

I'm not sure I could pick Mario Hezonja out of a line-up, but I'm happily scooping him up for the Orlando Magic and the #5 pick overall. These other LB writers are hemming and hawing over their picks - Kyle resigned himself to Okafor at #2, ‘Lil Jake chose Mudiay at #4 with a defeated shrug. They're single hitters, the David Ecksteins of Sixers Blog Mock Drafts. Forget that. I grip and rip. Thy name is Russell Branyan. I'm a two-true outcome GM. See below:

How Did I Do Last Year?

Doug McDermott (#14) Overall.

Grade: F

Jusuf Nurkic (#24) Overall.

Grade: B+

Some of the LB Writers have Hezonja #1 or #2 overall. I'm holding Hezonja hostage for the Hezonja Fanboys over at the Rights to Ricky Sanchez podcast. The price, at minimum, will cost them the #3 pick, the rights ... to the Rights to Ricky Sanchez podcast, and a speaking role in Mike Levin's next show. And I don't want some sophomoric comedy either, Mike. I want a drama. I want to show off my range.

And speaking of range:

Oh, hi there, Mario. I didn't see you come in. Let me take your coat.

Do you know what's better than two points? Three points. This is a shooter's league. Teams are shifting to a spread look on offense - four out - so why not grab one of the best shooters in the draft? To paraphrase the esteemed Derek Bodner on the latest RtRS podcast, he said, "Orlando has some pieces. They're not necessarily great pieces, but they're pieces." (Again, paraphrasing there). Elfrid Payton is a plus defender, whose jump shot and foul shooting need a complete overhaul. Hezonja could be a nice complement to Payton in the backcourt.

Let's check in with people who actually know what they're talking about. From the venerable Draft Express:

Standing 6'8 with a decent wingspan and a solid frame that could continue to fill out over time, Hezonja has outstanding size for a shooting guard. He's also an effortless athlete who runs the floor exceptionally well, has nice quickness, and can finish plays above the rim, ranking among the most impressive physical specimens we've seen among European prospects in recent memory.

Besides his physical attributes, the most appealing part of Hezonja's game is his offensive skill-set, which has helped him earn minutes, albeit inconsistently, for one of Europe's premier teams. Combining supreme confidence with tremendous fluidity and coordination, Hezonja's offensive game starts with his jump shooting ability both when spotting up and running off of screens within set plays. He shoots the ball with an effortless, high release point that will translate nicely to the NBA three-point line in time.

Others Players I Considered for the Magic

1) Justise Winslow

2) Willie Cauley-Stein

Up next is GM Wes picking for the Sacramento Kings at #6 overall.