The Sacramento Kings have agreed to buy out the remainder of the final year of disappointing forward J.J. Hickson's contract, according to Marc Spears of Yahoo! Sports. The fourth-year pro is in the final year of his rookie contract and was set to become a restricted free agent this summer. The Kings tried dealing him at the trade deadline, but found no offers they liked.
Hickson is averaging just 4.7 points per game this season while shooting 37 percent from the field for Sacramento. He began the year as the starting power forward, but lost his spot and has fallen out of the rotation altogether. He had been acquired from the Cleveland Cavaliers in an offseason trade prior to the lockout for small forward Omri Casspi and a future first-round pick.
Hickson had once been regarded so highly that there was talk the Phoenix Suns were interested in acquiring him in a potential trade involving Amar'e Stoudemire at the 2010 trade deadline. However, then-Suns general manager Steve Kerr ultimately passed on Cleveland's proposal, and Hickson fell out of favor in Cleveland the next year because the Cavaliers were concerned about making a significant financial commitment to him.
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