Willy Hernangomez
Willy Hernangomez
27-Year-Old CenterC
New Orleans Pelicans
2021 Fantasy Outlook
Hernangomez had a relatively strong first season with the Pelicans given the fact that he was a part of a three-man center rotation. The 27-year-old still managed to see 18.0 minutes of action, and he averaged 7.8 points, 7.1 rebounds, 1.1 assists, 0.5 steals and 0.5 blocks. The center competed for minutes last season with Steven Adams and Jaxson Hayes. This season, after re-signing with New Orleans, he'll compete with Hayes and Jonas Valanciunas instead. In New Orleans last season, Hernangomez was able to take over the second-man job in the center rotation, and as long as Jaxson Hayes doesn't take a big step in his development, Hernangomez should see a similar role to last year. Hernangomez's fantasy value is only relevant in deep leagues, as he won't be receiving consistent enough minutes throughout the season. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a three-year contract with the Pelicans in August of 2021.
Personal Bio

Guillermo (Willy) Gustavo Hernangomez was born in 1994 in Madrid to Guillermo Hernangomez Heredero and Margarita Geuer. He has a younger brother, Juan, who was drafted by the Nuggets in 2016 and a younger sister, Andrea, who has played for the Spanish national junior team. Hernangomez began his pro career at Real Madrid with two years on their reserve squad before being loaned out to Cajasol Sevilla the following two seasons. He returned to Real for one year after being selected by the 76ers in the 2015 Draft and then signed with the Knicks, who had acquired his rights. Hernangomez has represented Spain and has won gold at the 2011 FIBA Europe U-18 Championship, 2015 FIBA EuroBasket, and 2019 FIBA World Cup. He also earned a bronze at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio. You can follow him on Twitter (@willyhg94) and Instagram (@willyhernangomez).

College/International Summary

Hernangomez may have first landed as a member of the Spanish team in the 2011 FIBA Europe Under-18 Championship or 2012 Albert Schweitzer Tournament. In the latter, he was named to the All-Tournament Team, while he earned a gold medal at the former. In his professional career, he played for Real Madrid for five seasons. He played for their reserve team for two seasons. In 2013, the 6-foot-11 forward was loaned to Cajasol Sevilla by Real Madrid. He played for the senior team with Real Madrid for one season in 2015-16. He averaged 5.7 points and 3.3 rebounds during Spanish ACB League play in 34 games. For the second straight year, he was named to the ACB All-Young Players Team. After the season, he declared for the 2015 NBA Draft as a 21-year-old and was selected with the 35th overall pick by the Philadelphia 76ers. His rights were later traded to the New York Knicks on draft night.

Staying in New Orleans
CNew Orleans Pelicans
August 6, 2021
Hernangomez agreed Friday to a three-year contract to remain with the Pelicans, Shams Charania of The Athletic reports.
ANALYSIS
Hernangomez played a depth role at center last season for the Pelicans, though he started 12 games as well. The center appeared in 47 contests and averaged 7.8 points, 7.1 rebounds and 1.1 assists in 18.0 minutes and has been no stranger to putting up great per-minute numbers. He should occupy a similar role in 2021-22. Jonas Valanciunas is the Pelicans' new starting center, and he'll presumably be backed up by Jaxson Hayes most of the time. However, there will be opportunities for Hernangomez to secure the true backup center role if Hayes' development remains stalled.
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Past Season Summaries
2020

Hernangomez's first season with the Pelicans proved to be a good one, as the center improved his scoring and rebounding numbers from the year before. On the year, the 27-year-old averaged 7.8 points, 7.1 rebounds, 1.1 assists, 0.5 steals and 0.5 blocks. Hernangomez played in 47 games, started in 12 games and averaged 18.0 minutes. The first-year Pelican hit a career-best 56.3 percent from the field and made 66.7 percent from the charity stripe. The Spanish product logged 19 double-digit scoring performances and 11 double-doubles. One of Hernangomez's best games of the year came against the Trail Blazers on Feb. 17, where the center recorded a career-high 17 rebounds to go along with 11 points. In that game, Hernangomez matched his career-high of seven offensive rebounds. Another stellar performance from the 27-year-old came on May 7 against the 76ers, where Hernangomez accumulated 11 points, nine rebounds, two steals and a career-high five assists in 24 minutes. Defensively, the center had a strong season, as he tied a career-high of three steals (on April 26 against the Clippers) and three blocks (on Feb. 24 against Detroit). Overall, Hernangomez was an important part of the Pelicans rebounding efforts, as he finished third on his team with 2.5 offensive rebounds per game and forth on his team in total rebounds with 7.1.

2019

Hernangomez appeared in 31 games for the Hornets during the 2019-20 season. He averaged 6.1 points, 4.3 rebounds, 0.9 assists, 0.3 steals and 0.2 blocks across 12.1 minutes per game. He shot 53.2 percent from the field, made 0.2 threes per game at 22.7 percent and shot 62.7 percent from the free-throw line. Hernangomez set single-game season highs of 15 points, 12 rebounds, four assists, two steals, one block and one three-pointer. Hernangomez posted double-digit points eight times, double-digit rebounds three times and multiple assists six times. He also posted at least one steal eight times and at least one block seven times. Plus, he had two double-doubles. Hernangomez's longest streak of double-digit points spanned three games from Jan. 28 through Feb. 1. During that stretch, he averaged 11.3 points on 8.0 shots, 5.3 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 1.3 steals in 18.8 minutes. In the five contests in which Hernangomez saw 20-plus minutes, he averaged 10.0 points, 6.8 rebounds and 1.4 assists.

2018

The 2018-19 season was Willy Hernangomez's first full season with the Charlotte Hornets. Midway through the 2017-18 season, the Knicks traded the big Spaniard to Charlotte, and he appeared in 22 games for the Hornets. For 2018-19, Hernangomez appeared in 58 games for Charlotte, producing 7.3 points, 5.4 rebounds and 0.3 blocks over 14 minutes per contest. Most of that production came from off the bench, as the 6-foot-11 center started in only three of those 58 games. On Mar. 31, Hernangomez scored a season-high 22 points, to go along with five rebounds, in a road loss to the Warriors. The Spaniard delivered four double-doubles during the 2018-19 season. That included a 19-point, 10-rebound effort on Dec. 23 during a road loss to the Celtics. Hernangomez has one more year remaining on his contract. Willy's Hornets finished 39-43 and just missed qualifying for the playoffs.

2017

In his second NBA season, Hernangomez served as a reserve big man first for the Knicks and then the Hornets following a February trade. In New York, he appeared in 26 games and averaged 9.0 minutes per night off the bench. The Spaniard would also average 4.3 points and 2.6 rebounds per game. Following the trade to Charlotte, Hernangomez saw his playing time increase to 11.9 minutes per night across 22 games, and he picked up one start. He upped his production with the extra time on the court, averaging 6.1 points and 5.3 rebounds for the Hornets. Hernangomez was an effective scorer in both stops, shooting 55.5 percent from the field across all 48 appearances. He also knocked down 41.7 percent of his 3-pointers. Hernangomez scored a season-high 17 points on Mar. 19. He also recorded 10 double-figure scoring performances, with eight of those coming in a Charlotte uniform. Hernangomez also racked up five matchups with 10 or more rebounds, hitting a season-high 12 boards on two different occasions.

2016

After being drafted in the second round (35th overall) by the Sixers in 2015, Hernangomez was traded to the Knicks on draft night, but he spent another year playing pro ball in Spain before coming to the States. Upon joining the Knicks, Hernangomez turned in an effective rookie season mostly as a reserve, averaging 8.2 points with 7.0 rebounds, 0.6 steals and 0.5 blocks across 18.4 minutes per game. Across his 72 games (22 starts), he shot a laudable 52.9 percent from the field and sank 72.8 percent of his free throws. The Spanish center made an impact early. On Nov. 9, playing in his fourth NBA game, he racked up 14 points, six rebounds, a steal and two blocks in just 14:51 on the court against Brooklyn. Two nights later, Nov. 11, he narrowly missed his first NBA double-double with an eight-point, 12-rebound performance against Boston. On Jan. 18, again playing the Celtics, Hernangomez successfully notched his first double-double with 17 points and 11 rebounds in less than 20 minutes on the court. He proceeded to rack up another three double-doubles over the next seven games, notching a pair of 16-rebound efforts (his season high, achieved three times overall) in the process. Hernangomez twice poured in a season-high 24 points, double-doubling both times. On Mar. 25 against the Spurs, he knocked down 11-of-16 shots en route to 24 points, 13 boards, a steal and a block. A couple weeks later, Apr. 9 against Toronto, he scored 24 again, this time with 11 rebounds plus a season-high-tying five assists and three steals. All in all, Hernangomez scored in double digits 25 times and netted double-digit rebounds 22 times, with those occasions overlapping for 11 double-doubles. In recognition of his fine play, Hernangomez was named Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month in April and made the All-Rookie First Team.

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Past Fantasy Outlooks
2020
2019
2018
2017
2016
Hernangomez appeared in 31 games for the Hornets during 2019-20. He averaged 6.1 points, 4.3 rebounds, 0.9 assists, 0.3 steals and 0.2 blocks across 12.1 minutes of run. He shot 53.2 percent from the field, made 0.2 threes per game at 22.7 percent and shot 62.7 percent from the free-throw line. Despite signing with a new team, Hernangomez's role likely won't change with the Pelicans. He's the third center behind both Steven Adams and Jaxson Hayes, and Zion Williamson play center on occasion, too. As a result, Hernangomez can largely be passed on from a fantasy perspective.
Despite being healthy for almost all of the 2018-19 season, Hernangomez appeared in just 58 games for the Hornets, as head coach James Borrego began utilizing fellow big man Frank Kaminsky more often in the rotation, which cut into Hernangomez's playing time. Despite ultimately seeing just 14.0 minutes per game, Hernangomez still posted solid numbers on the season, averaging 7.3 points and 5.4 rebounds. That made for career-best per-36 averages of 18.7 points and 13.8 rebounds. Now, with Kaminsky gone to Phoenix, there are frontcourt minutes up for grabs this season behind assumed starter Cody Zeller, and with Zeller having only played 82 total games over the last two seasons, there will likely be starter's minutes up for grabs should Zeller miss time once again. Hernangomez will surely be competing with veteran center Bismack Biyombo for those minutes, and his workload and resulting value during the 2019-20 season relies entirely on whether or not he can beat out the big man from the Congo.
An early-season elbow injury and late-season Achilles injury limited the veteran to 64 games during his 10th season. While he was still able to provide all-around production -- 11.6 points, 5.5 assists, 4.8 rebounds, 1.4 threes, 1.0 steals -- each of those categories, except for steals, represented his lowest marks since joining the Hornets in 2015-16. Fantasy owners who are optimistic about Batum can likely chalk up the down year to injuries and the presence of Dwight Howard. Pessimists can point to the fact that Batum is turning 30 and hasn't shot better than 42.6 percent from the field since 2013-14 -- what are the odds he’s getting better? Regardless, Howard’s departure without significant replacement should vault Batum’s usage up to the levels we saw during previous campaigns with Charlotte, where he posted 15.0 points, 6.2 rebounds, 5.8 assists, 1.9 threes and 1.0 steals per tilt.
Hernangomez was one of the bright spots of a 2016-17 season that wasn't too kind to the Knicks. With starting center Joakim Noah playing just 46 games, that allowed Hernangomez to play a fairly sizable role at center. After seeing just spot minutes earlier in the season, Hernangomez's role grew throughout the latter stages and over the last 31 games of the season he actually averaged an impressive 11.5 points, 9.4 rebounds and 2.0 assists across 24.6 minutes. That was nearly a double-double, which is certainly tough for any rookie to do. Looking ahead to the upcoming season, Hernangomez is going to have a big opportunity ahead of him. Noah is going to miss the first 12 games of the year on suspension, which likely means Hernangomez will start at center if the Knicks opt to use Kristpas Porzingis at power forward. That should allow Hernangomez to take on a similar workload to what he averaged over the final half of last season, giving him plenty of potential as a double-double threat on any given night. Hernangomez did shoot just 72.5 percent from the free-throw line last season, and didn't do much as a rim protector, but his point and rebound numbers should give him value in the mid-to-late rounds as a sleeper pick at center.
Hernangomez, a second-round draft pick in 2015, reached a contract this summer with the Knicks and is set to serve in a reserve role in the frontcourt during his rookie year. He’ll immediately find a familiar face in budding star Kristaps Porzingis, who Hernangomez played alongside with Spanish club Real Madrid in 2014-15. He’ll now serve in a backup capacity behind Porzingis and starting center Joakim Noah, while battling Kyle O’Quinn for minutes off the bench. Hernangomez occupied a similar role for the Spanish squad during the 2016 Summer Olympics, averaging 6.6 points and 2.7 rebounds per game. As Hernangomez transitions to the NBA, he’s unlikely to see significant minutes on a consistent enough basis to yield any lasting fantasy value.
More Fantasy News
Paces Pelicans with 19 points
CNew Orleans Pelicans
May 17, 2021
Hernangomez tallied 19 points (8-11 FG, 3-5 FT), 13 rebounds and two blocked shots across 30 minutes Sunday in a loss to the Lakers.
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Posts double-double in loss
CNew Orleans Pelicans
May 13, 2021
Hernangomez recorded 12 points (3-5 FG, 6-8 FT), 10 rebounds, three assists and a steal across 26 minutes in Wednesday's loss against the Mavericks.
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Puts up 15 points in loss
CNew Orleans Pelicans
May 10, 2021
Hernangomez totaled 15 points (6-14 FG, 3-6 FT), eight rebounds and four assists in a 115-110 loss to the Grizzlies on Monday.
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Grabs 16 boards in win
CNew Orleans Pelicans
May 9, 2021
Hernangomez had nine points (4-8 FG, 1-2 FT), 16 rebounds, one assist, two steals and one block in Sunday's win over the Hornets.
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Solid effort in loss
CNew Orleans Pelicans
May 7, 2021
Hernangomez registered 11 points (5-10 FG, 1-2 FT), nine rebounds, five assists and two steals over 24 minutes in Friday's 109-107 loss to the 76ers.
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