I guess they did it for old time’s sake. With the lockout all but a certainty now, the Kings and Cavs are set to complete a trade that could mark the last real NBA transaction for a long time. After dangling J.J. Hickson throughout the draft process, Cleveland turned around and are apparently sending him to Sacramento for Omri Casspi and a first-round pick.
While ESPN.com’s Marc Stein first reported that the Cavs and Kings were in advanced discussions on a Hickson-for-Casspi deal, SI.com’s Sam Amick tweeted that Casspi was told by Kings management that he is likely to be traded to Cleveland for Hickson in the next couple of hours.
“I’m happy,” Casspi told Amick about playing in Cleveland. “It’s a great opportunity for me to play. They don’t really have a 3-man.”
After a strong start to his career in Sacramento, Casspi really wasn’t happy there last year (8.6 PPG). He struggled on the court with playing time, and dealt with a few off-the-court problems, such as the time someone painted a swastika over the top of a downtown mural featuring Casspi. In Cleveland, he should receive minutes right away. The exodus of Hickson probably shows the Cavs’ faith in new draft pick Tristan Thompson more than anything. But is it just me or does it feel like Cleveland should’ve gotten more? (UPDATE: according to Amick, the pick is lottery-protected next year, then just top-10 protected in 2013 before dropping from there)
Sacramento gets Hickson, and while he may be somewhat overvalued as a talent (13.8 PPG, 8.7 RPG last year), he has a chance to form a nice combination with center DeMarcus Cousins. Plus, since he helped me win my fantasy league with his late-season charge last year (nearly 17 & 11 post All-Star), he’ll forever be on my good side.
What do you think?
Follow Sean on Twitter at @SEANesweeney.
Follow Dime on Twitter at @DimeMag.
Become a fan of Dime Magazine on Facebook HERE.