On Monday afternoon the Orlando Magic confirmed that rookie swingman Mario Hezonja has secured a buyout from FC Barcelona, his European club.
“The release agreement between Mario Hezonja and FC Barcelona has been finalized and we look forward to Mario’s arrival in Orlando in the coming days," said Rob Hennigan, the Magic's general manager. "We would like to thank Mario, Arn Tellem and FC Barcelona for their cooperation and diligence.”
The Magic made Hezonja, 20, the fifth overall pick in Thursday's NBA Draft. In his most recent professional campaign, he averaged 4.1 points, 1.9 rebounds, and 1.3 assists in 14.2 minutes per game for FC Barcelona.
While there was never any serious doubt Hezonja would remain overseas, Monday's news should allay Magic fans concerned he may repeat what Fran Vázquez did. Orlando, rather famously, used the 11th overall pick in the 2005 NBA Draft on the Spanish big man, then 22, only for him to elect to stay overseas. Vázquez has yet to play in the NBA, and it's unlikely he ever will. Orlando still owns his NBA rights.