Mario Hezonja says Lakers offered him contract in free agency

NBA: Orlando Magic at Los Angeles Lakers
Mar 7, 2018; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers guard Lonzo Ball (2) shoots against Orlando Magic forward Mario Hezonja (8) during the second half at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers’ offseason has been a flurry of moves that have often left fans and analysts confused. While the prototypical LeBron James-led team features a bevy of shooters, the Lakers have opted instead to focus on playmakers, having signed Rajon Rondo and Lance Stephenson, presumably to shore up their bench.

Nevertheless, it appears as though the team did its due diligence in the shooting department as well. Recent Knicks acquisition Mario Hezonja informed the media during his introductory press conference that he had offers from the Lakers, among other teams, before making his final decision:

Hezonja was an unrestricted free agent after three mostly disappointing seasons to start his NBA career in Orlando. But last year, he finally appeared to be breaking out, averaging 9.6 points a game while shooting 44.2 percent from the field and 33.7 percent from three. While the efficiency is nothing special, it’s a glimpse at the player that Hezonja could become in the right environment.

Nevertheless, that ship has sailed and the Lakers may need to look elsewhere for shooting. The team was among the worst three-point shooting teams in the NBA last season and lost Brook Lopez in free agency. James will help everyone get better looks but being able to knock them down is a concern for the young squad at this stage.