Basketball

NBA: Deciphering the trade value of JJ Hickson

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Rumours have been circling that the Denver Nuggets’ big man J.J. Hickson is on the trade block.

JJ played the first few games of the season for the Nuggets due to injuries to other big men, but as they’ve returned he no longer warrants any minutes. Denver should be packaging Hickson with someone else so that Denver can get either a young point guard to run the floor while Emmanuel Mudiay on the bench and a rental small forward to back up Gallo until Chandler comes back next season. Jameer Nelson isn’t getting any younger and seems to be very injury prone but due to the experience he has, keeping him would be the best option since he can teach Mudiay the game from his veteran leadership. Randy Foye has played a couple of good games this season, but the majority of the season for him has been poor, so trading him could be a good idea since he cannot run the point effectively when Jameer is injured.

Below I will take a look at the possible trades and analyse why this is a good move for the nuggets.

JJ Hickson and Randy Foye for Marcus Smart

This trade works if you involve the Portland Trail Blazers. Hickson and Foye head to Portland, Marcus Smart moves to Denver and Allen Crabbe goes to Boston. This trade works for all teams: Denver eliminates Hickson wage of 5.6M and moves Foye as well for a young aspiring point guard who can back up Mudiay. Portland get the vets who can teach their young players such as C.J. McCollum about the game and can also choose to not resign Hickson which would then give them an extra 5.6M in cap space to add to an extension for McCollum or another player. Boston removes their log jam of guards and adds a small forward who can score off the bench to back up Jae Crowder.

JJ Hickson for Devin Harris

Dallas needs some defensive rebounding and a big man on the interior defence when Zaza Pachulia goes out. At the beginning of the season, they traded for a center and missed out on getting DeAndre Jordan so the need for another center is still there. Devin Harris is a solid backup point guard who could possibly teach Mudiay more about being an aggressive point guard as Harris is one of the quickest in the league on the ball.

JJ Hickson for Isaiah Canaan

Isaiah is a very good 3-point shooter and can run the point, plus he could play a couple of minutes at shooting guard if needed. He has a different style of play to Mudiay which could be very helpful for Malone if he wants to change the point of attack. Denver hasn’t been a very good 3 point team this season and this trade could definitely be worth a look as Philly lack any veteran leadership on their team which Hickson could fix.

Another option for the Nuggets is to scour the D-league for talent,  and there is one man who the Nuggets know well, Erick Green. Waived at the start of the season by the Nuggets, Green has been a smash hit in the D-league for the Reno Bighorns averaging 26.7 points at 53.3% from the field as well as 4.4 rebounds and 4.4 assists from 39 minutes. Picking up Green would cost literally nothing on an initial 10-day contract however someone would have to make way for the arrival of Green.

Feel free to follow me on Twitter @nuggetsislife let me know what you think of these trades and tell me what you think would be a good trade for the nuggets!

Tim D’Elia

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