In that sense, then, the Kings were obviously serious about Hickson as a prospect, as a player who can help the team win over the next some-odd years. The question is where he fits, and how he affects the team's decisions in this free agency and trade period of great import, which will certainly begin in the next two weeks to 16 months.
SHIFTING FREE AGENT PRIORITIES
Hickson is a good rebounder, but his primary talent is as a scorer. Whether that's as a featured scorer — he had a Tyrekian 25 percent usage rate last year in Cleveland — or a "garbage man," as he was on the LeBron-led Cavs in '10 — remains to be seen. I'd prefer the latter under the assumption Jimmer Fredette can shoot in the NBA and that Evans and Cousins see their efficiency soar. (Fingers crossed.) Again, Hickson is a rebounder … but he's not known for his defense.
Neither is Cousins. Thompson? Eh. He's a solid defender at this point, still flawed, but solid. There's no great defender up front, though … no Dalembert. So this fourth big man is going to have to fix that.
STILL CROWDED AT SMALL FORWARD
Right now, the team has four players for two guard spots (average age 17), four players for two big man spots (average age 17) and four players for one small forward spot (average age 37). (Note: all average ages approximate.)
To me, picking up Hickson intones that the Kings will first chase a defensive-minded center, then a pass-first point guard. Assuming a fairly reasonable CBA outcome, this should be attainable. Let's just hope the defensive-minded center is good and the pass-first point guard affordable.