A handful of teams have expressed exploratory interest in Trail Blazers power forward/center J.J Hickson, a source close to the situation tells Chris Haynes of CSNNW.com. However, these clubs haven't made contact witb GM Neil Olshey. Instead, they've been reaching out to Hickson's agent Andy Miller, according to the source.
Teams are checking in with Miller first because Hickson is a Bird Rights player on a one-year, $4MM deal and he has the power to veto any trade that is proposed. The big man will lose his Bird Rights if he signs off on any deal, meaning that it would have to be the right team and situation for him to give the green light.
For his part, Hickson sounds enthusiastic about what the next few weeks might hold, regardless of how it shakes out.
“Yeah, I'll be lying if I said it wasn't an exciting time in my life,” Hickson said. “It's also exciting to play on this team that everybody counted us out at the start. We're making a lot of noise in the Western Conference. I'm trying to make this playoff run if I'm here after the trade deadline. Obviously, I'll be happy either way because I can veto any trade.”'
The 24-year-old has played well thus far in 2012/13, averaging 12.2 PPG and a career-high 11.0 RPG in 29.4 minutes per contest. Now that he has played at a high level for 39 games this season versus a strong 19 games to close out last season, his stock is higher than it was when he hit the open market last summer.