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J.J. Hickson Claimed By Blazers, Saving Kings Money

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The Portland Trail Blazers, intent on undermining the Golden State Warriors' attempt to tank magnificently to keep their own pick, claimed J.J. Hickson off of waivers on Wednesday, reports SI.com's Sam Amick. Hickson was so close to signing with the Warriors that he was actually with the team in New Orleans when he learned that Portland had made a successful claim.

Our friend James Ham estimates that the waiver claim saves the Kings about $600,000 in salary to Hickson that would have been paid had he not played again this season. Had Hickson cleared waivers and signed with the Warriors as planned, the Kings would have saved a much smaller amount of money.

So the waiver claim is good news. Of course, it's a bit stunning to see two Western Conference teams essentially fighting over Hickson's services a week after the Kings were unable to get so much as a second-round pick for his services. Teams like the Warriors, who wanted Hickson, underrated other teams' interest, apparently. For the Kings, that was the definition of selling low.