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Report: J.J. Hickson reaches three-year deal to join Nuggets

Jul 7, 2013, 7:59 PM EDT

J.J. Hickson AP

J.J. Hickson had a breakout year in Portland last season finally starting to deliver on long-seen promise — he averaged 12.9 points a game on 56.7 percent shooting, 10 rebounds a game and had a PER of 19.9.

However he didn’t fit with the Blazers — Hickson is a four, the Blazers already have one of those in LaMarcus Aldridge. Portland played him at the five, but he’s a four in reality.

Which is likely where Denver will use him as the two sides have agreed to terms, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.

Denver will give Hickson, a 6-foot-9 forward-center, the annual full mid-level exception of approximately $5 million, plus the 4.5 percent annual bonuses allowed per the Collective Bargaining Agreement, sources said.

In a lot of ways this is a good fit for the Denver system — Hickson is athletic and very strong in transition, in the half court he can make plays as the roll man or cutting off the ball, and he does all of that with high efficiency. He crashes the offensive glass hard. He will not have to post up nearly as much as in Portland.

The question is where does he fit in the rotation? He’s a power forward (and a little undersized at 6’9”). They already have an energy guy in Kenneth Faried at the four who does a lot of the same things. Having them on the floor at the same time duplicates skill sets. Hickson could come off the bench as an energy big for the Nuggets and play the four, or the five if they go small; he could in theory play the three but he’d be a poor fill in for Andre Iguodala at the spot (that is a steep defensive drop off) and again, he and Faried would be overlapping skill sets. Woj says the Nuggets still want to bring back Timofey Mozgov, but he seems more expendable now.

But the Nuggets have him. He can officially sign with them July 10.

  1. 00maltliquor - Jul 7, 2013 at 8:09 PM

    DEN stays hoarding B-list talent! And I say that with all due respect. Great pick-up for them! DEEP!

  2. patfic15 - Jul 7, 2013 at 8:12 PM

    Remember when Danny Ferry refused to part with JJ Hickson when they could’ve had Amare? When Amare was still good? Cleveland didn’t deserve Lebron.

  3. JMClarkent - Jul 7, 2013 at 8:26 PM

    I think he is the first man off of the bench to spell the 4 or 5. For the MLE, he is definitely a nice add.

    • casualcommenter - Jul 7, 2013 at 8:58 PM

      Definitely a good pickup at the price – getting a 10 and 10 guy at $5 million per year is a very fair deal.

      I guess (and Nuggets fans, feel free to correct me), that the presumed lineup next year so far is something like…

      PG – Ty Lawson
      SG/SF – Wilson Chandler
      SF – Danilo Gallinari
      PF – Kenneth Faried
      C – Javale McGee

      Backups
      PG – Andre Miller, Evan Fournier
      SG/SF – Jordan Hamilton
      F – Darrell Arthur, Anthony Randolph
      PF/C – JJ Hickson

      With Mozgov another possible backup C?

  4. sportsnut101 - Jul 7, 2013 at 8:46 PM

    Def cheap price. Just a bad fit

    Warriors def shoulda signed him

  5. moseskkim - Jul 7, 2013 at 9:17 PM

    Lol at thinking he could somehow play the 3.

  6. bostonian13 - Jul 7, 2013 at 9:51 PM

    Hickson, Javale and Farried on the same team??? Niceeeee!

  7. cantonbound13 - Jul 7, 2013 at 9:58 PM

    Another first round exit for the Nuggets upcoming. Try blaming it on Melo again.

    • casualcommenter - Jul 7, 2013 at 10:49 PM

      Melo’s playoff record with the Knicks is a combined 7-14, going 0-4 in 2011, 1-4 in 2012, and 6-6.
      That’s two first round exits plus a second round exit that only came after beating a broken-down, Rondo-less Celtics team led by a 37 year old Paul Pierce running on fumes in the first round.

      Melo has a near decade-long record in the playoffs that spans two teams, and it’s not good at all in any round. So based on that, most would predict a first round exit for the Knicks next year, given that the Bulls with Derrick Rose, Pacers with Danny Granger, and the Heat should all finish ahead of the Knicks in the standings, leaving the Knicks with a tough first-round fight as a fourth or fifth seed at best.

  8. kevinravens1 - Jul 7, 2013 at 11:44 PM

    Now we should sign Monta Ellis and Gary Neal and let Corey Brewer walk. Neal could take Brewers place, and Neal could bring the 3PT success that the Nuggets need to win a championship

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