The Cleveland Cavaliers have picked up the third-year option on J.J. Hickson, that will keep him under contract through the 2010-11 season. The former NC State forward will earn $1.5 million in his third year (2010-11). Cavaliers General Manager Danny Ferry had this to say about Hickson:
“J.J. is a young, talented player who continues to work hard and still has a great deal of upside,” Ferry said to Cavs.com. “We are excited to keep him in our program and help him fulfill his potential.”
Hickson has also made two very important teammates believers as well. Hickson spent a majority of this summer training with Lebron James and has made a good first impression on the new 'big man' in town, Shaquille O'Neal. Here is how James described his summer with Hickson to CantonRep.com:
“I had J.J. with me all summer, for the most part, before I went overseas,” said James, who worked with Hickson at Cleveland Clinic Courts, in Akron and even in San Diego. “Everywhere I went, I had him with me working out with me because I knew the potential that he had. And he’s definitely implementing everything he learned this summer from myself and from himself, and doing it on the court.”
Shaq also had some lofty words of praise for the young Hickson, who is entering his second year as a professional.
"He's a young kid who has a lot of raw talent. The good thing about him is he's got a lot of good players to work with him," O'Neal said to Cleveland.com. "I was telling him you have to watch the so-called greats. You have to watch your so-called favorites and do what they do. Add a little bit of your own, then become the first J.J."
Hickson showed his coaches, teammates and the fans that he is ready for more during the 2009 preseason. He averaged 9.8 points (52.2% FG) and 3.5 rebounds in 20.2 minutes a game.