Originally posted by kings.com (nba.com)Kings Acquire J.J. Hickson From Cleveland
SACRAMENTO, CA, June 30, 2011 -- The Sacramento Kings today acquired forward-center J.J. Hickson from the Cleveland Cavaliers in exchange for forward Omri Casspi and a conditional future first-round draft pick, according to Kings’ President of Basketball Operations Geoff Petrie.
“We’re very excited about the opportunity to acquire J.J. Hickson from the Cavaliers,” said Petrie. “We believe he’ll continue to fortify our frontline going forward. He’s an improving young player who is just 22 years old. We believe J.J. will be an important complement to our frontcourt and overall roster as well. We also wish Omri the best and hope he continues on to have a successful career with the Cavaliers.”
At 6-9 and 242 pounds, Hickson, who is a three-year NBA veteran, averaged 13.8 points (.458 FGs, .673 FTs), 8.7 rebounds, 1.1 assists and 28.2 minutes per game in 80 outings with the Cavaliers this past season, of which he started 66. His points and rebounds per game statistics have increased significantly in each of his three NBA seasons (from 4.0 ppg and 2.7 rpg as a rookie to 8.5 ppg and 4.9 rpg the following campaign to last year’s 13.8 ppg and 8.7 rpg). In the midst of a solid 2011 season, Hickson came on strong towards the end, scoring 20 points or more in nine of his last 15 games and pulling down 10 rebounds or more in 11 of his last 13 outings. He averaged 19.7 points per game over his last 15 and 12.5 rebounds per game in his last 13. He has posted career averages of 9.1 points (.495 FGs, .675 FTs) and 5.7 rebounds per game in 223 contests. Hickson has recorded career playoff averages of 3.5 points (.636 FGs, .668 FTs) in 11 outings. He was selected by Cleveland in the first round (19th overall pick) of the 2008 NBA Draft following his freshman season at North Carolina State where he earned ACC All-Freshman Team honors and was named Honorable Mention All-Conference.
Casspi, a two-year NBA veteran, averaged 8.6 points (.412 FGs, .372 3FGs, .673 FTs), 4.3 rebounds and 1.0 assists per game through 71 contests this past season with Sacramento, of which he started 27. He has recorded career averages of 9.5 points (.431 FGs, .371 3FGs, .673 FTs), 4.4 rebounds and 1.1 assists per game in 148 contests. He is the first Israeli-born athlete to play in the NBA after being selected by the Kings with the 23rd overall pick in the 2009 draft.
Can we now PLEASE put to rest forever the notion that the Gasol trade was a one-sided hijacking? The Grizzlies took care of OKC rather handily and they match up pretty well against both the Lakers and Dallas.