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More NBA Trade Rumors: Kings Shopping J.J. Hickson Hard, According To Report

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The Kings are "shopping J.J. Hickson hard," according to ESPN's Marc Stein. They would need to because Hickson certainly isn't shopping himself. Hickson will actually miss the next three games with a hip pointer; he averaged just 14 minutes per game in February and has slid to the key "fourth big man" spot in the Kings rotation. He's been horribly unproductive on offense all season, and not a single player on the roster can claim to have made a defensive impact this season for the NBA's second worst unit on that end.

I'm struggling to see a scenario in which anyone even offers a second-round pick for Hickson as this point. He'll be a restricted free agent in July, and I imagine that at this point the Kings are more likely to skip extending a qualifying offer than to extend it. (The qualifying offer is $3.3 million.)

The Kings won't lose their 2012 pick because of the Hickson trade -- it's protected in the lottery, and Sacramento isn't making the playoffs -- but that's a nasty little aftertaste given how poorly Hickson has performed. Because of the pick, that Omri Casspi is struggling is of little consolation.