Hickson is an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season, so he can go out and find the best deal possible. If Portland maintains his Bird Rights, they can choose to match that offer and keep him. Why does Hickson care if Portland matches or doesn't match?
I also understand that if a team has Bird Rights, then they can offer more money in the form of an additional year to the contract. But Portland isn't going to offer a long-term contract to Hickson, if they decide they want to keep him. Furthermore, to keep his Bird Rights, doesn't Portland have a cap hold of $7 million, eating up over half their available salary cap room. I don't see the Blazers making Hickson their top signing priority this off season and rolling into next year with the same lineup, and maintaining that big defensive hole they have in the middle that is so inviting to their opponents. For that reason, aren't the Blazers just going to renounce him (thus voiding his Bird Rights) so they have enough money to make an offer to a true center or s big time wing? Because of the large salary cap hold, I don't see the Blazers seeing JJ's Bird Rights as a big asset, and I really don't see how it is valuable to Hickson. I hope someone can explain.