2013 NBA Free Agency: Denver Nuggets Get J.J. Hickson on the Cheap, Make Steal of the Summer

By Ryan Heckman


Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Making the steal of the summer so far, the Denver Nuggets have agreed with forward J.J. Hickson on a three year deal worth $15 million. In signing Hickson, the Nuggets have gained a highly underrated post presence and did it without breaking the bank.



Believe it or not, Hickson averaged a double-double last season with the Portland Trail Blazers in just 29 minutes per game. Whether the Nuggets decide to start him over Kenneth Faried shouldn’t really matter at this point, because the guy is a player regardless. As long as he gets minutes, he will produce.

Last season Hickson averaged 12.7 points and 10.4 rebounds for the Blazers. The fact he was so consistent and efficient in just 29 minutes is astounding. I am quite shocked the Blazers let him go so easily.

The Nuggets’ rotation next year will for sure include Hickson and Faried, and of course center JaVale McGee who is one of the most athletic guys in the NBA. That type of rotation, being filled with youth, has tons of potential if they can put it all together in the right fashion.

Hickson will bring consistency in two major areas of focus for the Nuggets. First, he can score. Last year he shot the ball at over 56 percent from the field — I’ll take that if I’m a Nuggets fan.

Second, he will help in the rebounding department. Denver has been one of the better post teams in the league recently, getting tons of points in the paint and Hickson’s ability to rebounds will only further that trend.

Going into 2013, the Nuggets’ squad looks a bit different than last year but there’s no doubt they are still a playoff team. Hickson will prove to be a phenomenal signing and an integral part of a run in the postseason of 2014. Denver should be thrilled they not only signed him, but got him at a bargain.

Ryan Heckman is a Senior NBA Writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter  @ryanmheckman, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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