J.J. Hickson has averaged a hefty double-double (12.2 ppg, 11.0 rpg) for the Portland Trail Blazers this season. While that's great news for them as a team, his increased production is going to leave general manager Neil Olshey with a difficult decision to make as the trade deadline approaches, because Hickson is set to become an unrestricted free agent this summer.
"[A]nyone who has ever spent any time around owner Paul Allen knows that he'll be irked if Olshey loses the 24-year-old Hickson at the end of the season without getting something for him," wrote John Canzano of the Oregonian.
"That's not the tricky part. Because even as the Blazers love Hickson, there are a number of league executives who don't believe he has trade-deadline value beyond, maybe, a couple of future second-round draft picks."
On the other hand, if they don't trade Hickson for something, they may loose him via free agency, especially if another team sees him as a long-term fit and is willing to pony up a decent contract for him. Certainly, we will be hearing more about Hickson's potential to be dealt away as the Feb. 21 trade deadline approaches.