Losing Andre Iguodala in NBA Free Agency this summer was a huge blow to the Denver Nuggets. However, they have managed to pick up some of the pieces this summer as they landed Randy Foye as part of the Iggy deal and were able to sign Nate Robinson and J.J. Hickson as free-agents.
Foye and Robinson will be great additions to the Nuggets to replace Iguodala. Though neither player brings the same skill-set to the table that Iguodala did, both players have proven to be capable scorers as role players in this league. Hickson, however, is more of a wildcard for Denver heading into next season.
Looking at the numbers for Hickson last season while he was with the Portland Trail Blazers, he was relatively impressive. In 80 games, Hickson averaged 12.7 points, 10.4 rebounds and 1.1 assists in 29 minutes per game while shooting a solid 56.2 percent from the floor. The thing about Hickson is that those numbers don’t tell the whole story.
For one, Hickson isn’t a great offensive player. He has a decent post game and isn’t an abomination shooting from mid-range, but he’s also not going to wow anyone with his offensive prowess either. It’s Hickson’s defense, though, that makes him a real question mark going forward.
Even with Hickson playing on a not-so-stellar defensive Blazers team last season, his defensive rating was awful. With Hickson on the floor last season, Portland allowed 107.5 points per 100 possessions. That’s horrendous and certainly outweighs anything he’s going to bring to the table with his rebounding or on the offensive end of the floor.
There’s no doubt that Hickson is going to see minutes in Denver this year. However, people shouldn’t look, see that he averaged a double-double, and then think that he is going to be some great asset for this season and moving forward. Ultimately, Hickson is going to be a solid rebounder and a decent option to run the pick-and-roll with. Other than that, the Nuggets shouldn’t be jumping for joy about the Hickson signing.