Date/Place of Birth: 9/4/1988-Atlanta, GA
Height/Weight-6’ 9”, 242 lbs
Primary Position: PF/C
Projected Role: Backup PF/C
College: NC State
NBA Draft: Drafted 19th overall by the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2008 NBA draft.
Honors: ACC All-Freshman Team (2008), All-ACC Honorable Mention (2008)
Career Averages-8.5 PPG, 5.5 RPG, .6 APG, 1.4 TOPG, .5 BPG. 11-12 PER: 10.07
Hickson is a versatile big man with the skill to finish at the rim. He has developed a variety of post moves he can use to help score and can hit the occasional midrange jumper or two. He is a solid athlete and a decent rebounder. As the focal point of Cleveland’s offense much of last year, he flourished. Even when forced to play center, rather than his natural position at power forward, he was successful. Most impressively he improved throughout last year and was playing significantly better by year’s end than by the start of the season.
Even before we get to whatever the heck has happened to Hickson this year, he is far from a perfect player. Although he can finish at the rim, he still takes way too many jumpers and can often become a bit of a black hole on offense, shooting even when he has no reasonable expectation he’ll make it. He is often overmatched on defense by bigger players, especially when forced to play center. Additionally, Hickson has poor instincts at both ends and sometimes appears to rely too much on his natural physical ability rather than nuance. Oh and then there’s his shooting slump this year. Hickson is shooting 10% worse than he had any of his first three seasons and its not entirely clear if the reason is physical, mental or something else. Hopefully it was just a matter of Sacramento being a bad fit and is something Portland can remedy.
None (except the small one below).
Did You Know?:
JJ Hickson was a 2007 McDonald’s All-American along with ex-Blazer Jerryd Bayless and current Blazer Nolan Smith.
Hickson went to Joseph Wheeler HS in Marietta, GA, the same HS that produced ex-Blazer Shareef Abdur-Rahim.
Hickson’s favorite obsession is his IPod.