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Mario Hezonja | Forward | #8

Team: Orlando Magic
Age / DOB:  (22) / 2/25/1995
Ht / Wt:  6'8' / 218
Drafted: 2015 / Rd. 1 (5) / ORL
Contract: view contract details
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Recent News

Mario Hezonja played 27 minutes off the bench on Thursday, posting 15 points on 7-of-15 shooting, four rebounds, two assists, two steals and one 3-pointer.
Hezonja was thriving in an expanded role as a starter while Aaron Gordon (hip) was out, but this reserve role is not a death sentence for his fantasy appeal. When coach Frank Vogel was asked how he could maintain Hezonja's rhythm with the second unit, he replied, "Keep playing him a lot of minutes. I intend to keep him in there." If someone hastily cut him with Gordon back in action, don't hesitate to pick him up. Feb 22 - 9:56 PM

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Player Related News

Nikola Vucevic (hand) and Aaron Gordon (hip) are "on track" to play Thursday vs. the Knicks.

Barring a setback, Vucevic will be back out there on Thursday following a two-month layoff, which will translate to Bismack Biyombo heading back to the second unit. Mario Hezonja has played really well in Gordon's absence, but his value figures to take a bit of a hit with AG back in action. Vucevic was flirting with top-15 value prior to going down, so he absolutely needs to be owned in all leagues at this point.
Feb 20 - 5:47 PM

As expected, Aaron Gordon (hip) has been ruled out of Wednesday's game vs. Charlotte.

This was a no-brainer for the Magic. Sitting Gordon, who has already withdrawn from the dunk contest during All-Star weekend, on Wednesday allows him an extra eight days of rest. In addition, the more losses the better for Orlando at this point, as they have a solid chance to land the No. 1 overall pick in the 2018 NBA draft. Mario Hezonja, who has scored 20-plus points in two straight games, will continue to see extended minutes on Wednesday.
Feb 14 - 11:15 AM

Coach Frank Vogel said that Aaron Gordon (hip) is unlikely to play Wednesday vs. the Hornets.

Gordon has missed eight straight games, and sitting him on Wednesday is an easy decision for Orlando. He's technically listed as 'questionable', but remaining out through the All-Star break would give Gordon an extra ten days of rest. Also, Orlando should be focused on improving its draft positioning at this point in the season. Mario Hezonja, who is playing the best ball of his career of late, will continue to soak up extra minutes with Gordon sidelined.
Feb 13 - 10:59 AM

Aaron Gordon (hip) is listed as out for Monday's game vs. the Bulls.

The Magic only have two games left before the All-Star break including Monday's contest, so we'd expect them to keep Gordon out for the remainder of the week. With the Magic tanking and Gordon hitting restricted free agency this summer, they'll be cautious with him the rest of the way. Mario Hezonja has been a stud in his absence and is coming off a 23-point game on Saturday with three boards, three steals and one triple. Hezonja is a must-start fantasy asset while Gordon is out.
Source: NBA.com
Feb 11 - 9:58 AM

Aaron Gordon (right hip flexor), Nikola Vucevic (hand), Terrence Ross (knee) and Jonathan Isaac (ankle) have all been ruled out of Saturday's game vs. Milwaukee.

This will be the seventh straight game Gordon has missed, and it's not encouraging that he keeps getting ruled out a day ahead of each contest. After Saturday, the Magic have just two more games before the All-Star break. With the team in tank mode, they may very well choose to keep him out until after the break, which would give him an extra nine days of rest. Mario Hezonja has been the primary beneficiary in Gordon's absence. Hezonja is averaging 14.0 points, 5.3 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 2.7 treys and 1.2 steals in 27.5 minutes over Orlando's last six contests.
Feb 9 - 1:35 PM

Jonathon Simmons (right ankle) is questionable to play Thursday against the Hawks.

Simmons played through the ankle issue on Tuesday and popped off for a career-high 34 points in an impressive comeback win over Cleveland, although he did say he was "very close" to not playing, so maybe he sits out Thursday's game. Owners can expect to get another update following Thursday morning's shootaround, but if he is forced to the sidelines, guys like Evan Fournier and Mario Hezonja could see a massive spike in usage. Stay tuned.
Feb 7 - 2:07 PM

Jonathon Simmons sprained his right ankle on Monday and is questionable for Tuesday's game vs. Cleveland.

Simmons tweaked the ankle in the fourth quarter of Monday's victory over Miami. In fact, it was on the go-ahead basket in the final minute of the contest. The shorthanded Magic are already without Aaron Gordon (hip), Terrence Ross (leg), and Jonathan Isaac (ankle). If Simmons is unable to play Tuesday night, Mario Hezonja, Arron Afflalo and Wesley Iwundu would likely divvy up additional minutes.
Feb 6 - 12:00 PM

Aaron Gordon (strained left hip flexor) has been ruled out of Saturday's game vs. the Wizards.

This will be Gordon's third straight game on the sidelines. Marreese Speights started in place of Gordon on Wednesday and finished with 21 points, four rebounds, and three 3-pointers in 23 minutes. Mario Hezonja had 14 points and four boards in 25 minutes off the bench. Both players will likely see extended minutes again on Saturday and are worthy of DFS consideration.
Feb 3 - 11:17 AM

Mareese Speights will replace Mario Hezonja in the starting lineup for Wednesday's game against the Lakers.

It's interesting that Speights is getting the start over Hezonja with Aaron Gordon (hip) out again, considering Hezonja posted 17 points, three triples, three boards, two assists and a block in a start on Tuesday, but it is what it is. In Speights previous start this season, he only managed to put up 7.0 points, two 3-pointers, one rebound, one turnover and nothing else in 18 minutes, so he's still not a great target tonight.
Jan 31 - 5:21 PM

Aaron Gordon (strained left hip flexor) will not play Tuesday vs. Houston.

Gordon logged 40 minutes in Saturday's loss to the Pacers, but was unable to practice on Monday due to the hip injury, and he'll likely miss Wednesday's game against the Lakers as well. Mario Hezonja is expected to replace Gordon in the starting lineup Tuesday night. Hezonja has started nine games for Orlando this season and is averaging 14.2 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.8 assists in 30.7 minutes over those nine starts. He's worth considering as a DFS option on Tuesday.
Jan 30 - 1:02 PM

Arron Afflalo has been suspended two games for throwing a punch at Nemanja Bjelica during Tuesday's game.

Afflalo threw a serious punch and this is somewhat lenient from the league. Wesley Iwundu and Mario Hezonja stand to gain a few extra minutes in his absence -- Afflalo is averaging 12.9 minutes this season, so there are no big fantasy implications.
Jan 18 - 4:45 PM

Aaron Gordon will return to the starting lineup for Wednesday's game against the Bucks, sending Mario Hezonja back to the bench.

Gordon was benched on Tuesday because he showed up late for the team plane on Monday, but he'll be back in his usual spot in the starting lineup tonight and he'll be joined by Elfrid Payton, Evan Fournier, Jonathon Simmons and Bismack Biyombo. Feel free to get Gordon active.
Jan 10 - 6:47 PM

Coach Frank Vogel said that a final decision on Jonathon Simmons (back spasms) will come prior to tipoff but it is "looking like he will play" Tuesday vs. Dallas.

Tuesday's game tips off at 8:30 pm EST, so we should have confirmation, one way or the other, within the hour. Simmons will be somewhat difficult to trust if he does suit up, as he will likely play relatively limited minutes. If Simmons is ruled out, Mario Hezonja will probably draw another start.
Jan 9 - 7:12 PM

Jonathon Simmons (back spasms) went through shootaround and will be a game-time decision for Tuesday's matchup vs. Dallas.

Simmons was unable to finish Wednesday's game vs. Houston and was ruled out of Saturday's game vs. the Cavs. The fact that he was able to shoot around this morning is a positive sign, but we'll have to wait and see how his back is feeling this evening. If Simmons is unable to play, Mario Hezonja will likely draw another start in his place. Hezonja tallied 16 points and ten rebounds across 39 minutes on Saturday.
Jan 9 - 1:06 PM

Jonathon Simmons (back) was unable to practice on Thursday and Friday and is considered questionable for Saturday's game vs. Cleveland

Simmons was forced to exit Wednesday's loss to the Rockets due to back spasms, and the issue is clearly still lingering. If Simmons is unable to play, Mario Hezonja would likely be inserted into the starting lineup. Hezonja started the second half in place of Simmons on Wednesday. Arron Afflalo and Wes Iwundu would also see an uptick in minutes off the bench.
Jan 5 - 1:43 PM

The Magic intend to hold forward Jonathan Isaac (ankle) out of action for the "foreseeable future."

Isaac has been hampered by this nagging ankle injury for the better of two months now, having missed 20 of Orlando's last 23 games. The Magic want to make sure the ankle is as close to 100 percent as possible before he takes the court again. They also want to help him regain conditioning he's lost while he's been sidelined. Mario Hezonja will continue to see additional minutes off the bench.
Sat, Dec 30, 2017 12:45:00 PM

Updating a previous item, both Aaron Gordon (right calf strain) and Evan Fournier (sore right foot) will start on Thursday vs. Detroit.

This was the expectation, and now it's official with both players surviving the test of pre-game warmups. Neither Gordon nor Fournier will be facing a minutes limit, so feel free to get either or both into your lineup(s). Orlando will round out its starting five with Elfrid Payton, Jonathon Simmons, and Bismack Biyombo, sending Mario Hezonja back to the bench.
Thu, Dec 28, 2017 06:22:00 PM

Evan Fournier (sore right foot) is expected to play on Thursday vs. the Pistons.

So long as Fournier makes it through warmups okay, he'll be in the starting lineup and is not expected to have playing time restrictions. Given that he played 30 minutes on Tuesday, we're expecting Fournier to be out there.
Thu, Dec 28, 2017 05:27:00 PM

Magic head coach Frank Vogel expects Aaron Gordon (right calf) and Evan Fournier (sore right foot) to play on Thursday vs. Detroit.

Vogel wants to see both players in warm-ups before giving them the final all-clear, but it sounds like there is a good shot of both being ready to go. So long as they are cleared, both guys will start, and per Vogel, neither should have a minutes limit. We should have final word shortly, so check back for an update. If either player is unable to go, Mario Hezonja would start in their place.
Thu, Dec 28, 2017 05:26:00 PM

Aaron Gordon (calf) is being listed as questionable for Thursday's game against the Pistons.

Gordon was a full participant at Wednesday's practice, so things are trending in a positive direction here and owners can expect to get another update following Thursday morning's shootaround. If he's able to get back out there, Mario Hezonja would likely head back to the second unit, and his value would take a bit of a hit with the demotion. Stay tuned.
Wed, Dec 27, 2017 05:04:00 PM

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