J.J. Hickson was a part of the four-player dispute between the NBA players' union and the league over Bird rights for waived and claimed players. Hickson was waived by the Kings during the season, and the Blazers picked him up. The union claimed that Hickson, like Jeremy Lin and Steve Novak, should still be eligible for Bird rights contracts under NBA rules. The league disagreed. An arbitrator sided with the players.
There's one problem for Hickson: The Blazers declined to tender Hickson a qualifying offer. He'll now only get to sign a Bird deal for a higher salary through a sign-and-trade or if the Blazers change their minds.
Hickson's had an odd career, starting for a 60-win team in Cleveland, being so bad in Sacramento that he was waived midseason, and having a good couple of months with Portland. He'll almost assuredly sign a deal to stay in the league, but it'll likely be for small dollars and a short term.
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