Trail Blazers rumors: Portland expected to part ways with J.J. Hickson

J.J. Hickson has been a productive player for the Portland Trail Blazers this season, but the team is expected to part ways with him over the offseason as they attempt to upgrade at the center position, according to Jason Quick of The Oregonian.

In speaking with reporters, Blazers general manager Neil Olshey wouldn't rule out keeping Hickson, but he indicated that a return is "probably not" likely.




“For us to make a jump next season, JJ can’t be our starting center,’’ Olshey said, referencing the Blazers’ 47.4 points allowed in the paint per game, an NBA high. “I’m not saying he can’t be part of the roster. But we need to find a starting-caliber center who protects the rim and gets defensive rebounds at a high rate and that has a presence. And we have to do a better job at defending the paint. So you have to ask: Is it likely there is enough minutes to commit the kind of dollars JJ will command, when clearly there are other positions that need to be upgraded? Probably not.’’

Hickson is clearly an undersized center in the NBA, and his regular position is power forward. In Portland, that position is currently filled by LaMarcus Aldridge.

While the Blazers are hoping to upgrade the center position, Hickson is eager to find a starting role by testing the free agent market. He's averaged 12.9 points and 10.6 rebounds this season while playing 29 minutes per game.


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