NBA Trade Rumors: Brooklyn Nets Would Be Wise to Deal for J.J. Hickson

Mike MoraitisAnalyst IFebruary 15, 2013

DALLAS, TX - FEBRUARY 06:  J.J. Hickson #21 of the Portland Trail Blazers takes a shot against Bernard James #5 of the Dallas Mavericks at American Airlines Center on February 6, 2013 in Dallas, Texas.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

The Brooklyn Nets could be looking to add some size at the NBA trade deadline, and their latest target appears to be Portland Trail Blazers big man J.J. Hickson.


UPDATE: Saturday, Feb. 16, at 2:09 a.m. ET by Michael Moraitis

Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News is now reporting the Nets may not be looking to deal for Hickson:

Got pushback from the Nets regarding my report that they're interested in Portland forward JJ Hickson.

— Stefan Bondy (@NYDNInterNets) February 15, 2013

---End of update---


Hickson is having a fine year for the Blazers, averaging a double-double per game with 12.7 points and 10.3 rebounds. Portland is sitting on the outside looking in for the NBA playoffs at 25-28 on the season.

Meanwhile, the Nets are in the playoff race as the No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference and could look to bolster their frontcourt with the addition of Hickson.

Kris Humphries had been the Nets go-to rebounder in recent years, but he has since fallen out of favor with both former head coach Avery Johnson and interim coach P.J. Carlesimo.

Trade rumors have also been swirling around Humphries, as he has been linked to the Charlotte Bobcats in a potential swap for veteran guard Ben Gordon.

Brooklyn could certainly use some scoring punch off the bench, and Gordon would give them just that. That deal could realistically get done before the Feb. 21 deadline hits, which would leave the Nets a big man short.

Hickson would be a perfect replacement for Humphries, as he is both a solid defender and rebounder, and he can also score the basketball down low. He could either come off the bench alongside Andray Blatche or he could start next to Brook Lopez.

Power forward Reggie Evans has been the team's starter of late, but he could easily slide back into his backup role (where he spent most of the season) if a Hickson deal is made.

In his tweet above, Bondy also points out that Hickson can veto any trade and would lose his Bird Rights if dealt. Both of those factors could potentially hold up any deal, but Hickson could still allow the trade if he wishes to join a contender like the Nets.

Adding to the risk of a Hickson deal, the big man is set to become a free agent after the season, so there's no guarantee he'll stick around past the 2012-13 campaign.

If the Nets plan on trading Humphries, then Hickson is the perfect guy to bring in to fill the void and is certainly worth the risk. If not, then clearly this deal won't make much sense for Brooklyn to make.