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Report: Magic talking Mario Hezonja trade before option deadline

Orlando Magic v Brooklyn Nets

NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 20: Mario Hezonja #8 of the Orlando Magic reaches for the ball in the second half against the Orlando Magic during their game at Barclays Center on October 20, 2017 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)

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Magic wing Mario Hezonja, the No. 5 pick in the 2015 NBA draft, has been bad in two-plus NBA seasons.

He’s also 22, athletic and talented. But he’s up and down in his development, and it’s too early to say whether strides this season are real.

Orlando must decide on Hezonja’s $5,167,231 option for next season by the end of the day – unless another team trades for him first. That’s why the Magic have talked trade with the Kings, who have Malachi Richardson. Obviously, any team trading for Hezonja would prefer to decide for itself on his option.

Michael Scotto of Basketball Insiders:

That trade seems about fair. Richardson, the No. 22 pick last year, hasn’t done much in the NBA, either. At least Sacramento decided to exercise his $1,569,360 option for next season, according to Tony Jones of The Salt Lake Tribune.

Absent a trade with the Kings, Orlando can keep looking elsewhere for a trade. Hezonja had plenty of fans before the draft and still might have a few around the league willing to take a flier.

But if no trade partner emerges, the Magic face a tough question: Would they rather have another year trying to make Hezonja a viable NBA player, or could that $5,167,231 be better-spent elsewhere?