Your morning cup o’ Kings: J.J. Hickson
So many youtube videos, so much time to watch them. After adding John Salmons via trade and Jimmer Fredette, Tyler Honeycutt and Isaiah Thomas through the draft, the Sacramento Kings consummated one last transaction before the lockout began on July 1st. In what might be the NBA’s last transaction for a long time, the Kings dealt popular small forward Omri Casspi, along with a future first round pick, for Cleveland Cavalier power forward J.J. Hickson. The move balanced the roster and added athleticism to the front court.
There is no shortage of exciting youtube videos of J.J. Hickson. Highlight reel plays are J.J’s specialty, but if Hickson wants to earn a big extension next summer, he’s going to have to prove that he can be more than just a youtube sensation. Mental lapses on defense limited Hickson to just 28.2 minutes per game on one of the NBA’s worst teams last season. While he did average 13.8 points and 8.7 rebounds in those 28 minutes, you can’t help but wonder if those numbers are inflated by a lack of talent around him – the old “best player on a bad team” theory. With the Kings, he will be asked to do much less than what the Cavs needed from him last season, so hopefully less means more.
More after the jump…
Both Jason Thompson and J.J. Hickson are entering their fourth NBA seasons. The Kings could benefit greatly from these two young bigs fighting it out for extension dollars. While both players would like to be named the starter alongside last year’s rookie sensation DeMarcus Cousins, plan A is most likely for the Kings to chase a big name free agent big. Although this season’s free agent crop isn’t star studded, it does include centers Nene, Marc Gasol, Tyson Chandler and the Kings own free agent Samuel Dalembert. If the Kings can’t land one of these guys, expect an exciting training camp battle between J.T. and J.J., two young, aggressive big men with a lot on the line.