DENVER – The Denver Nuggets have signed free-agent forward J.J. Hickson to a multiyear contract, general manager/executive vice president of basketball operations Tim Connelly announced today.
Hickson, 6-9, 242, enjoyed his best NBA season in 2012-13, averaging 12.7 points and a career-high 10.4 rebounds in 80 games with the Portland Trail Blazers. He and Dwight Howard were the only players to average at more than 12 points and 10 rebounds while shooting at least .550 from the field last season.
Hickson, 24, finished sixth in the NBA in field-goal percentage (.562), seventh in rebounding and seventh in double-doubles (40). His nine consecutive double-doubles from Dec. 5-26 marked the longest such streak by a Portland player since Terry Porter in 1987.
“I thought J.J. was one of the most improved players in the league last year,” Connelly said. “He gives us a low-post option in the half-court and he’s a relentless rebounder who will help us get out and run.”
Drafted 19th overall by Cleveland in 2008, Hickson has averaged 9.8 points and 6.8 rebounds in five seasons with the Cavaliers, Sacramento Kings and Trail Blazers.
Hickson made the jump to the NBA after being named to the Atlantic Coast Conference All-Freshman Team in 2007-08. He had 10 double-doubles, including a 13-point, 23-rebound performance against Clemson on Feb. 16, 2007. The rebounds were an ACC single-game freshman record.