Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
Though Doc Rivers went on PTI to walk back his earlier comments about the Boston Celtics' need to make a trade if the team doesn't improve, he would certainly love to have some other options at his disposal. Every coach could use a few more good players.
For the Celtics, J.J. Hickson could be a great option. And it is a good fit that goes both ways.
According to Chris Forsberg of ESPN Boston, one of the gripes Rivers mentioned during his candid comments after the team's Jan. 20 loss to the Detroit Pistons was that he doesn't think that Boston has "committed to being a good basketball team."
Based upon his play this season, it is clear that Hickson has committed to becoming a good basketball player.
The Celtics have actually increased their once-signature defensive tenacity since the return of Avery Bradley. As they won six of their first seven games after he came back from injury, there was a noticeable injection of life.
Meanwhile, Brandon Bass has lacked spirited play all season.
Hickson could be the solution for a lackluster frontcourt.
With Kevin Garnett, Rajon Rondo and Paul Pierce around to help win games late, the team may just need better effort earlier in games from younger, hungrier, more voracious players—especially in the paint.
If Hickson can make his way to Boston and bring those attributes, he can endear himself to the team's fans and leaders and perhaps help the Celtics turn their season around.
And if he does that, the soon-to-be free agent will be looking at a nice payday in the offseason. Those who succeed in the limelight of Boston's TD Bank Garden have a history of getting noticed by opposing general managers.