Pistons should pounce on recently waived J.J. Hickson

Talk about buyer's remorse. The Sacramento Kings traded small forward and a first-round draft pick for J.J. Hickson of the Cleveland Cavaliers on June 30, the eve of the NBA lockout.

Just more than eight months later the Kings waived Hickson, after he produced 4.7 points and 5.1 rebounds in just 18 minutes per contest. Needless to say, this is the kind of player the Detroit Pistons should make a play on immediately. They still have only 14 players on the active roster and I believe could use the bi-annual exception to outright make a waiver claim on him and take on his remaining salary, or wait until he clears waivers and sign him outright.

In the same way that I was hoping that the Pistons wouldn't trade struggling small forward Austin Daye, I am hoping just as much that the Pistons sign Hickson.

While Daye was an example of buying high and selling low, Hickson is the mirror opposite. He could be had for practically nothing and could help the Pistons next year as the look to fortify the front lines. Especially with Ben Wallace retiring and the Pistons draft position uncertain, this is a no-brainer.

That is not to say that Hickson is definitely a GOOD player. But he's certainly better than he has shown this season. Let's look at those numbers again, if you can stomach it.

4.7 points, 5.1 rebounds, 18 minutes per game. But even in this horrendous year when everything went wrong he still has a rebound percentage that would rank third on the Pistons. And he is still just 23 years old.

And keep in mind that while he has been awful this season, he has a body of work that suggests that he could be the kind of big man the Pistons could use. Athleticism and a good enough post game that he could pass as the fourth or fifth option as a starting power forward on the Pistons or as the first big off the bench.

He has the body and athleticism to perhaps become a serviceable defender if he can mature and the less he is emphasized on offense the more effective he would probably be. In Cleveland when he was "untouchable" (sound familiar) there was too much pressure for him to be an offensive focal point. And in Sacramento he just couldn't make the transition to a new team / new system.

But he is the kind of low-risk move the Pistons need to be willing to make. Bringing him into the fold now means that the coaches and trainers can get a look at him and see if he fits into the equation for next year. What have they got to lose?

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