The NBA lockout is scheduled to begin Thursday night, but the Sacramento Kings and Cleveland Cavaliers have reportedly snuck in one more trade before that happens. Cleveland will send power forward J.J. Hickson to Sacramento in a swap for small forward Omri Casspi, according to ESPN's Marc Stein. Jason Lloyd of the Akron-Beach Journal suggests the deal is indeed happening and reports that Cleveland will also receive a future first-round pick.
The trade can be made official before the lockout because it involves a straight one-for-one swap with two players not on expiring contracts. Hickson was the No. 19 pick in the 2008 NBA Draft, while Casspi was selected 23rd in 2009. Both had their rookie-contract options for next year picked up already.
The Kings will get another big man to team with DeMarcus Cousins and Jason Thompson inside. They had just acquired John Salmons in a trade to play small forward, making Casspi superfluous. The Cavaliers, meanwhile, have a hole at small forward and could be looking to clear some minutes for 2011 first-round draft pick Tristan Thompson.