The Portland Trail Blazers have had a decent season so far this year. They are 14-13 and currently hold the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference. A lot can change in the coming months, but Portland may already be looking at how to continue their success while building their team for the future. J.J. Hickson could be dangled by the Blazers as trade bait this season.
According to Sam Amico of Fox Sports, Hickson would be a good trade candidate for the Trail Blazers because he is a free agent after this year.
Blazers center JJ Hickson has nine straight double-doubles in points/rebounds. Free agent at season's end. (Read: Potential trade chip.)
— Sam Amico (@SamAmicoFSO) December 28, 2012
Hickson suffered a shoulder injury toward the end of November, but he has been healthy otherwise. This is good for the Blazers if they do wish to trade him. Teams would be far less interested in Hickson if he had numerous injuries this year. As it stands, teams should be very interested in him.
Hickson is averaging 15.8 points per game and 13.7 rebounds per game. The 24-year old center is in his fifth NBA season and has shown that he can hang with the big boys down low. If the Blazers do decide to trade him, they will be looking for either youth or draft pick compensation.