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Nuggets destined to select Hezonja?

Kalen Deremo Avatar
May 5, 2015


This past week the esteemed NBA Draft scouting website DraftExpress.com posted their first mockup of the year. In it they have the Nuggets selecting Barcelona shooting guard Mario Hezonja, orginally from Croatia. Hezonja is a fine prospect and looks to have most of the tools necessary to succeed in the NBA: He’s long, tall, freakishly athletic and has a sweet stroke from distance. If the Nuggets did in fact stay at No. 7 and did in fact pick Hezonja, I couldn’t complain too much.

But this got me thinking: How do other reputable sports websites have their first mock drafts shaking out? If the Nuggets stay at seventh overall, is Hezonja the clear favorite? After doing some digging, it appears so…

In addition to DraftExpress.com, both NBADraft.net and Bleacher Report have the Nuggets taking Hezonja. Sam Vecenie of CBSSports.com feels the same way. However it’s worth noting Zach Harper and Gary Parrish, also of CBSSports.com, have the Nuggets selecting Willie Cauley-Stein and Kristapas Porzingis respectively. Meanwhile, Chad Ford of ESPN.com has Justise Winslow dropping to the Nuggets at No. 7 and SBNation.com’s Tom Ziller has the Nuggets selecting Miles Turner ahead of Porzingis and Hezonja.

The above selections come from just a few of the numerous mock drafts you can find online this time of year. If you wanted you could probably dig up hundreds of these across the Internet. Yet from the aforementioned sample size a clear pattern emerges: Hezonja is the favorite amongst draftniks to land with the Nuggets come June 25 — if of course Denver stays at No. 7.

May 19, the date of the 2015 NBA Draft Lottery, will undoubtedly be the most telling signpost of whether the Nuggets stand a chance of drafting Hezonja. If Denver moves up, Hezonja is likely out of the picture. There are just much more talented prospects in the top three available slots. But if Denver remains at seventh or perhaps gets pushed back a spot or two, the hype for Hezonja will only continue to build.

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