In his first interview with Portland media since being claimed by the Trail Blazers off of waivers, J.J. Hickson talked to Blazersedge briefly on Wednesday night about getting bought out by the Sacramento Kings, his game, his familiarity with his new team and when he will be available for the Blazers.
Hickson, 23, averaged 4.7 points and 5.1 rebounds in 18.4 minutes per game off the bench for the Kings this season. His career averages: 8.5 points and 5.6 rebounds in 20.5 minutes per game over four seasons.
Blazersedge: What happened over the last 48 hours? Sacramento bought you out. You thought you were going to Golden State, then Portland claims you?
"It's been kind of hectic. Sacramento bought me out. When a team buys you out, you have to wait 48 hours to clear waivers. Unfortunately for Golden State, I didn't clear waivers because somebody picked me up. That's Portland. It's going to be crazy from switching up systems, personnel, new coach. From a standpoint of packing up and having to move. It's crazy. But that's what we get paid for. That's what we have to do."
Blazersedge: Why did you come to the buy out decision?
"Keith Smart and the coaching staff were cool. All of my ex-teammates were cool. It just wasn't working out. I don't think that was a good situation for me, myself or for the team. We thought it was best for me to get up out of there and that's what happened. They bought me out. It's no love lost. I wish those guys the best of luck. Now I'm a Trail Blazer and I'm really excited."
Blazersedge: How would you describe your game? What are your strengths?
"I would say -- being able to switch out on defense. Being able to switch pick and rolls. Being able to keep a point guard in front of me, or a two guard or a three in front of me. As far as offense, being able to get the rebound, outlet, and get down the floor. It's something they are missing. I'm just a piece of the puzzle and I'm looking to contribute and make the playoffs."
Blazersedge: What's your natural position? Four or five?
"I can play either position. I did it in the past. Whatever coach needs me to do, I'm going to find a way to get it done. Whether it's the four or the five. The three, the two or the one. I'm going to find a way to get it done to the best of my abilities. I'm just a piece of the puzzle. Whatever they need me to do I'll do it."
Blazersedge: Have the Blazers talked to you about expectations yet?
"I haven't heard anything. I just can't wait to get up there and hopefully we'll talk about my role, different things they want me to do. I'll go out and do it and hopefully we'll win some games."
Blazersedge: Do you have any connections with the current Blazers roster?
"I know Jonny Flynn and Nolan Smith playing through high school and college. Other than that, I don't really know those guys like that. From the looks of it, they have good team chemistry. I just want to go out and have fun and play good basketball."
Blazersedge: This is LaMarcus Aldridge's team. Thoughts on playing against him and what type of player he is to defend?
"He can really shoot. He's not much of a banger. With him and his size, it throws you off because you expect him to be in the paint and bang. But that's not his game. He's more a finesse guy but he can also get things done in the paint using his length. That throws you off. As long as we play hard as a team and we know that we'll get better as he gets better, that's all that matters."
Blazersedge: Will you be available for Thursday night's game against the Memphis Grizzlies?
"Yeah. Yessir. I won't be at shootaround. I'll be getting my physical but I'll definitely be dressing."
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