Okay so I've decided to start analyzing some of the Kings new players. J.J. Hickson is my favorite addition from this abbreviated offseason. The primary reason why I feel this way is because the Kings obtained a starter for a bench player in my opinion. Yes Omri Casspi was a maximum effort player and he was well-liked by many Kings fans, but he was widely inconsistent. Hickson, however is much like DeMarcus Cousins in that he is capable of putting up 20 and 10 on any given night. Add in that the double digit rebounds are nearly a given every night and suddenly you have a force in the paint. To prove this, Hickson ended last season with 11 double doubles in the Cavaliers last 13 games. Even more is that fact that the Cavs were statistically the worst team in the NBA last season and had virtually nothing to play for, unless you consider spoiler as something. Hickson is one of those players that can make an impact without really trying that hard. He is just a freak of nature athletically, sort of in the mold of a Josh Smith with his leaping ability and dunks/blocks.
I live near Cincinnati and I watch most Cavs games on FS Ohio. I watched Hickson during the LeBron era and this year, post LeBron. Obviously the Cavs were a very poor team and weren't competitive most games this past season. However, Hickson seemed to be a bright spot almost every night for Cleveland. Whether it was the 21 and 12 he put up in a home victory over LeBron's Heat or if it was the 31 and 15 he put up in a hard fought loss to Memphis, Hickson can play. How rare is it that a team has 4 potential all-stars under the age of 25? With Hickson, Cousins, Thornton and Evans, the Kings may just have that. If that doesn't make you excited, I don't know what will. It is even more rare that a team acquires a young big man with so much potential for a max effort SF. Really? I really respect Dan Gilbert, but c'mon man. I would be just as much if not more irate about the HIckson deal than I was about the LeBron departure, if I were a Cavs fan. Then to pass up on Derrick Williams for Kyrie Irving. What?! Ok I get it, Irving could be your floor general for years to come but skilled big men don't exactly grow on trees. Whatev, that's Cleveland's dilemma.
Back to Sactown and what Hickson brings to the team. Hickson brings athletic ability, rebounding, decent scoring, good defense, good energy, etc. Honestly, I feel that he is a large upgrade over Samuel Dalembert. Obviously he plays the 4 and Dalembert plays the 5, but you get my point. With his arrival, it is also assumed that Dalembert is leaving the capital city for greener pastures. No longer will we have to cringe when Sammy D pulls up for a prayer of a 15-footer, just saying. Also, I think Hickson is another piece to the puzzle of a Kings team that is capable of winning right now. It is a relief to myself and others that these moves that Petrie is making are all starting to make sense and take shape. How many years were the same questions raised as far as the direction the Kings were headed in? Now I think it is safe to say that the Kings plan on competing this year or whenever the lockout ends in the near future. That alone satisfies me because it shows that there is a plan for this organization and we aren't just banking on the fact that Tyreke and DMC will carry us.
After all, it wasn't long ago that the Cavs were offering Hickson and Zydrunas Ilguaskas to the Suns for that guy Amare. Yeah, you know the guy who signed with the Knicks two summers ago and averaged 25 and 8 this past season. I don't know what changed in the eyes of the Cavs on what Hickson meant to the team, but apparently something did. I think the Kings were the benefactor of this delusional claim that Hickson wasn't a piece to the puzzle in Cleveland. Like I said, I respect Dan Gilbert but I disagree with how he has built that team. You don't build a team around a point guard, plain and simple. You must have a quality big man, preferably two, to compete with the big boys in the league. He gave the Kings one to add to the quality big they already have while stripping his team of anything worthy besides the 35-year old Antawn Jamison. Bravo, Bravo Mr. Gilbert! We'll be sending you a Thank You card in the mail! Obviously Gilbert isn't the GM but judging by the turnover of coaches and players in that organization, something is clearly wrong. Much of why the Cavaliers were good was because of King James. King James smoothed over what was wrong with the organization and its no coincidence that the problems became widespread once he left for South Beach. Gilbert and others never gave LeBron the supporting cast that he needed to win a title, which was idiotic on their part. This proves how delusional Gilbert and others in the Cavs organization are and why it comes as no surprise that they would trade J.J. Hickson.
So yeah, that's my two cents on the Hickson addition. Again, this guy is highly underrated and obviously underappreciated by some. He brings a much needed post presence on both sides of the floor that the Kings haven't seen since C-Webb's glory days. I personally, am very excited to see him on the court with Tyreke, DeMarcus and Marcus whenever this lockout ends. Add in the fact that Hickson will be motivated by his departure from Cleveland and watch out! Until next time, Go Kings and let's end this lockout!