Following a strict 'best player available' approach to the NBA draft, the Charlotte Bobcats now turn their sights to free agency, and the trade front in order to solidify their roster, and fill in their needs.
#Bobcatshave expressed interest in former N.C. State big man J.J. Hickson, agent Andy Miller confirms to Observer.— Rick Bonnell (@rick_bonnell) July 2, 2012
Despite reports that Hickson was on the verge of signing with Golden State, it appears for now that the Bobcats are still in the hunt for the Atlanta native, and former NC State standout. At just 23 years old Hickson has plenty of room to grow, and Charlotte offers him a unique opportunity to become a featured player, something that would be far harder to offer in Golden State, where he would have to battle a glut of talent in the front court.
When given starter's minutes Hickson has been an extremely effective player, averaging 13.8 pts and 8.7 rebounds in 2010-11 with Cleveland, then last year he stretched his point total further, averaging 15.1 for Portland. In Charlotte he would slot in nicely with Bizmack Biyombo, and would give the Bobcats some much needed talent on both ends of the floor.
It remains to be seen whether Hickson would be willing to return to familar stomping ground in North Carolina, and while he'd be asked to contibute to a rebuilding effort perhaps the allure of playing a large role, and becoming the Cats preeminnate low-post offensive option would be enticing.