Chasing Down The Latest NBA News
Just hours before the NBA will enter a lockout period, the Sacramento Kings and Cleveland Cavaliers completed a deal that will send Omri Casspi and a future first round pick (lottery protected only for the first season) to the Cavs for power forward J.J. Hickson.1 This deal seems to work for both sides but not because either player stands to make a huge impact on their new teams next season.
Dealing Casspi clears a logjam at small forward for the Kings after a season of failed attempts to get Donte Greene and Caspi to create an efficient tandem. Sacramento drafted Tyler Honeycutt out of UCLA and because of his passing instincts he figures to be a better fit for the Kings next season because of the many shot-first guards they have compiled.
Speaking of the draft, the Cavaliers felt the need to deal away Hickson because they took a power forward in Tristan Thompson with the fourth overall pick. I was not in favor of the Thompson pick but the Cavs have clearly made a commitment to him and this deal confirms that. Hickson has potential but Cleveland’s front office is done waiting for him to realize it and think that Thompson will be the better player over the next few seasons.2
Even though I think Hickson will be the better player over the next five years Cleveland did acquire a young small forward that competes hard on every player. He’s a good shooter and rebounder and he’s a hard-working defender. He does have his detractors but at least he’s not Jamario Moon, Alonzo Gee or Joey Graham. Cleveland will have a nice, young tandem at small forward with Casspi, who can contribute at a solid rate right now, and Christian Eyenga, who has a chance to be a pretty good player in the near future.
The Kings will have a nice big-man duo of DeMarcus Cousins and Hickson next season and Jason Thompson only adds to their big man depth. It may may not be a terrific group but adding frontcourt players is better than adding another guard that averages two shots a game.
I think both teams did good to clear out clutter at certain positions and even though they didn’t get very good players in return Casspi and Hickson are rotation players and the Mavericks just proved how valuable those players can be. And getting a first round pick from a horrible team in California in a trade worked out for the Cavs in February, right?
1. Please excuse the cheesy headline. Return
2. I disagree. I think Hickson has more upside and is clearly the better player right now. Return