J.J. Hickson Likely To Remain With Blazers

February 21 2013 at 12:14pm CST By Luke Adams

THURSDAY, 12:14pm: A Hickson deal looks increasingly unlikely for the Blazers, even if the big man were willing to approve a deal. Chris Haynes of CSNNW.com reports (via Twitter) that Portland doesn't have one offer on the table that makes sense, while Ken Berger of CBSSports.com tweets that there may not even be much interest if the team downgrades the asking price to a second-rounder.

WEDNEDAY, 1:27pm: J.J. Hickson has been the subject of a few trade rumors in recent weeks, but unlike most trade candidates, Hickson has the ability to veto any deal he doesn't like. Hickson didn't negotiate a no-trade clause into his contract like Kevin Garnett, but because he re-signed with the Trail Blazers on a one-year pact and would lose his Bird Rights if he were moved, the big man can block a deal.

As Joe Freeman of the Oregonian observed while speaking to Hickson, it doesn't make a ton of sense for the 24-year-old to approve a deal that would strip him of his Bird Rights, reducing his leverage in free agency as he enjoys a career year. Hickson agreed with Freeman's assessment of the situation.

"There you go then — you just said it," Hickson said, laughing. "You just answered all your questions."

While Hickson didn't entirely rule out the possibility of approving a trade, he told Freeman that he's focusing on playing for Portland right now. And if the club comes to him with a trade for him to consider? "I’ll deal with it when I cross that path."

Ben Golliver of Blazer's Edge noted earlier today that the presence of other available big men such as Marreese Speights and Jermaine O'Neal on the trade market was softening Hickon's value. And given the year Hickson is having so far, if the Blazers can't even find a good offer for the N.C. State product, it's unlikely they'll consider a move.

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