Cleveland Cavaliers Trade JJ Hickson to Sacramento Kings for Omri Casspi

Greg Swartz@@CavsGregBRCleveland Cavaliers Lead WriterJune 30, 2011

BOSTON, MA - JANUARY 25:  J.J. Hickson #21 of the of the Cleveland Cavaliers heads for the net as Paul Pierce #34 of the Boston Celtics defends on January 25, 2011 at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts.   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 Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images

According to ESPN, the Cavaliers have sent power forward J.J. Hickson to the Sacramento Kings for small forward Omri Casspi and a protected first-round pick.

The move should come as little surprise to Cavaliers fans who, after watching Cleveland draft Tristan Thompson last week, could see the signs pointing toward a short stay for Hickson.

The first-rounder included in the trade is lottery protected (1-14) in 2012, 1-13 in 2013, 1-12 in 2014 and 1-10 from 2015-2017.

Casspi is the first Israeli-born NBA player and has enjoyed some success in his first two years in the league, averaging 9.5 points and 4.4 rebounds in 24 minutes per game. 

He's regarded as a solid defender and good three-point shooter, providing a much needed upgrade for the Cavaliers at small forward.

Hickson moves into what would likely be a starting role alongside DeMarcus Cousins provided that the Kings fail to re-sign Samuel Dalembert.

While getting off to a slow start in 2010-2011, Hickson finished the year strong and ended up with averages of 13.8 points and 8.7 rebounds per 28 minutes of play.

Head coach Byron Scott and Hickson reportedly clashed however, and with Scott aiding in the selection of the more defensive-minded Thompson, Hickson's departure seemed inevitable.

For the Cavaliers, this means a more balanced lineup and more playing time for Tristan Thompson.  While still heavy at the power forward spot with Antawn Jamison, Samardo Samuels and Luke Harangody, the Cavaliers will likely allow Jamison to mentor Thompson before trading the veteran and his expiring deal sometime before this February's trade deadline.

While it's almost certain that Cleveland won't see the first-rounder from Sacramento this year, this could still go down as being a very good trade if the 23-year-old Casspi can continue to develop and should do so with increased playing time on the Cavs.

While Hickson provided many highlight plays in his three seasons in Cleveland, ultimately Cavs fans should be happy with this trade.