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NBA Trade Deadline Hypotheticals: JJ Hickson

We're back with another installment of the NBA Trade Deadline Hypotheticals like they're Ernest movies. Yesterday, WIBR strayed away from asking if you remember a former Sixer great and came up with this trade that would land the Sixers a possible lottery pick while taking on Emeka Okafor. While that fake trade did way with a more than likely opting out Louis Williams and a first rounder, today's won't part with nearly as much, clearly meaning it won't bring back an earth shattering asset.

According to Marc Stein, the Sacramento Kings are shopping 4th-year forward J.J. Hickson hard. While Tom Ziller of Sactown Royalty says he can't see anyone offering even a second round pick for him, the Sixers will have to shed some salary in order to get him as well. So without further ado, another hypothetical trade that is sure to not happen!

Sixers get:

J.J. Hickson ($2.35 million in 2012 - $3.35 million qualifying offer in 2013)

Kings get:

Andres Nocioni ($6.65 million in 2012 - $7.5 million team option in 2013)

Sixers' 2012 Second Round Pick

It's no secret that Hickson has been pretty awful this season. His PER (10.26) and true shooting percentage (42.1%) are career lows by pretty significant margins. His defense hasn't been much better, but Hickson was never known to have been a banger on that side of the ball. So why exactly would the Sixers even think about adding him?

Hickson's career low numbers this year well off from his stats the last two seasons. Is the J.J. Hickson we're seeing this year the real version or an outlier? While he wasn't an all-star caliber player, Hickson posted PERs the last two season that were above league average (15.26 and 15.62 respectively). If those two years are more indicative of the kind of player Hickson can be, the Sixers could be sitting in a decent "buy low" situation. Just last season, Hickson's defensive rebounding rate was at 25%, which would lead the current Sixer team. His number in that aspect has gone down to 19% this season, identical to that of Elton Brand.

What has held steady this year is his offensive rebounding rate. Sitting at 10.7%, Hickson would trail only rookie Nikola Vucevic for team leader on the offensive glass. I'd take this with a grain of salt considering the Sixers are one of the league's worst in that category.

Why would the Kings do this? First of all, they'd be shedding themselves of Hickson, who hasn't exactly gelled with the team in his only season with Sacramento. Secondly, they'd be getting at least something back for him. In the article linked above, it sounds like (according to Ziller at least) they'd be happy with just about anything. Nocioni means nothing to them or the Sixers in this deal, just that he's needed for salary purposes.

Hickson has been bad this season; there's no way around that. But if the Sixers acquire him for said package, is there really a downside? If he doesn't work out for them, they can let him walk next season. If he's something the front office thinks is worth holding on to, they can give him the qualifying offer thereby making him a restricted free agent. At the very least, he can provide some depth to a frontcourt that has seen Tony Battie play far too much.

Would you do this trade?

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