JJ Hickson

The Portland Trail Blazers have claimed forward J.J. Hickson off waivers, it was announced Wednesday.

“We like J.J.’s energy and physicality,” said Acting General Manager Chad Buchanan. “He’s a young, but experienced player who can help our frontline.”

The Sacramento Kings waived Hickson on March 19.

According to the Associated Press, “Golden State and Phoenix had also been reported to have interest in the 6-foot-9 Hickson, who had been bothered recently by back spasms and had played only six minutes in the past 10 games. Hickson was a first-round pick by Cleveland out of North Carolina State in 2008. For his career, he has averaged 8.5 points and 5.6 rebounds per game.”

In a separate move, the team has waived center Mehmet Okur, acquired in a March 15 trade with New Jersey.

Hickson, 23, averaged 4.7 points, 5.1 rebounds, 0.6 assists and 18.4 minutes in 35 games (nine starts) for the Kings this season.

In four NBA seasons with Cleveland and Sacramento, Hickson (6-9, 242) holds averages of 8.5 points, 5.6 rebounds, 0.6 assists and 20.5 minutes in 258 games (148 starts).

The Trail Blazers roster stands at 15 players.