Last season JJ Hickson was riding around town with King James himself. Life couldn’t get much better. He was a starter on a team that was considered a title contender. Hickson has also been untouchable in trade talks since he was drafted since he is considered a vital building block for the future of the Cavaliers franchise.
That was then.
These days he is struggling to keep his head above water. The Cavaliers have lost 8 straight games and he recently has been removed from the starting lineup. Hickson is not having the season so far that his stellar preseason performance foreshadowed. He is averaging 10.7 points and 5.1 rebounds while shooting a dismal 44%.
According to Cleveland.com, Hickson’s move to the bench has not done much to help his relationship with new head coach Byron Scott.
“I’m not adjusting very good,” he said. “I don’t think it’s any secret. Coach [Byron Scott] knows I’m not happy. My teammates know I’m not happy. But as a professional basketball player, you deal with it as a pro.”
Hickson wasn’t particularly pleased with how the demotion was handled. “The night I didn’t start I didn’t know I wasn’t going to start until 30 seconds before we went out to go warm up,” he said.
And he wasn’t thrilled with how Scott explained what he has to do to change the situation. “[Scott] said, ‘Play with energy,’ which I think I do, and that was about it,” he said.
The News-Herald is even reporting that the untouchable tag that Hickson has worn since being drafted, might be fading.
“Up until now, forward JJ Hickson has been untouchable in any trade talks. The Cavs might be close to including his name in possible deals. He doesn’t seem like a happy camper right now.”
It will be interesting to see how everything pans out for the former NC State forward. Talent and potential have never been in question. The question might just be: Where will he be playing when he fully realizes that potential?