JJ Hickson has been through this before. He was a constant presence in trade rumors throughout his three seasons in Cleveland. And when he finally was dealt to Sacramento, and his role decreased and his mood soured, he quickly rejoined the rumor mill. So as Thursday’s NBA trade deadline nears, as Hickson’s name continues to surface as part of trade speculation, he’s not the least bit concerned. “I’m not going to get all hysterical about it being the trade deadline,” Hickson said. “I’ve been traded before. I’ve been waived before. This is nothing new to me.” Besides, a quick read of the tea leaves suggests the Trail Blazers will not trade Hickson on Thursday. In fact, for the first time in years, it seems unlikely the Blazers will make any significant move before Thursday's noon deadline. General manager Neil Olshey has long maintained he will not do anything to jeopardize the Blazers’ long-term vitality and it would take a sweatheart deal for him relinquish any of the precious salary cap space he has to play with this summer — anywhere between $11.8 and $13.1 million. LaMarcus Aldridge, Nicolas Batum, Damian Lillard and Wesley Matthews aren’t going anywhere. Neither is center project Meyers Leonard. Outside of those core foundation pieces, there isn’t much bait to trade. Which leads back to Hickson. The Blazers’ undersized center, who torched the Phoenix Suns for 25 points and 16 rebounds Tuesday night, is in the middle of a career season that has almost certainly skyrocketed his value around the NBA.
JJ Hickson unfazed by trade speculation
Oregonian | Feb 20