Petrie and Westphal on the J.J. Hickson/Omri Casspi trade

Steven Chea/CK

The Sacramento Kings called a press conference early today to announce the acquisition of J.J Hickson from the Cleveland Cavaliers in exchange for Omri Casspi and a future first round pick.  Here are the highlights of that news conference:

Geoff Petrie, Sacramento Kings President of Basketball Operations:

  • On Hickson: “It was a chance to acquire a young player that’s already proven himself to a pretty decent level in the league and strengthening our roster.  There’s still a lot of upside there.  Some of the players that were just taken in the draft a week ago aren’t a whole lot younger than J.J. and he’s had three years in the league and been more productive each year.  It really falls, I think, mostly under the category of just improving the quality of your roster overall.”
  • On the nexus of this trade: “We were having conversations with Cleveland prior to the draft and even somewhat during the draft and it just didn’t seem to work. But they continued on here.  In order to accomplish this trade today, both teams had to waive physicals and reporting in order to get it complete today.”
  • On the financial implications: “The other thing about this trade – it does not, again, significantly impact our salary cap room going forward at all.  So when we get to free agency, we’ll still be basically in the same position.  We have to go and make other additions to the roster.”
  • On Casspi: “Omri has had some pretty good stretches himself as a player and we wanted to make sure we could get fair value for him if we ever did move him.”

Coach Paul Westphal:

  • On the trade: “I think it’s a good day.  J.J. Hickson is an outstanding young front court player.  We’re sorry to see Omri go.  He had two good years here and he wanted to continue his career with a little bit different role than he would have figured to have here.  I think it’s a good opportunity for him and a great addition for us.”
  • On the new make-up of the Kings roster: “Geoff Petrie and his staff have done an unbelievable job of balancing this roster, filling some holes that we thought we had, and still having us in a position to be a player in future transactions.  I think we’ve improved our roster a great deal.  It’s been a really good week.”
  • On J.J. Hickson: “I think there’s so much to like.  He’s a real quick front court player who can shoot the ball.  He’s aggressive.  He’s got experience starting for a team that won 60+ games.  To add a young, dynamic player at this stage of his career is really a fantastic thing.”
  • On how Hickson fits with the Kings current front line: “I think he’s a very good fit.  All three of those players can play a little bit of center and a little bit of power forward.  I think it gives us a very solid rotation.”
  • On the frustrations of Omri Casspi: “It’s not unusual.  I would really rather Omri speak for himself, but we enjoyed his time here. He’s a tenacious competitor and I’m sure he’ll have a real fine career ahead of him.”

Clearly the Kings are excited to get Hickson, which adds a ton of depth to their front court.  I’m never happy to deal away a future first round pick, but the protections on this pick are extreme.  The Kings converted one of their five small forwards into an exciting, 22-year-old power forward with huge upside.  Not too bad.


James Ham

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