CLEVELAND — J.J. Hickson's athleticism and potential made him a budding NBA star. His inconsistency made him maddening and expendable.
On Thursday, the Cleveland Cavaliers decided it was time to move on without him.
Clearing out a logjam at power forward, they traded the enigmatic Hickson to the Sacramento Kings for forward Omri Casspi and a future first-round pick.
The former N.C. State standout spent three mostly productive seasons in Cleveland, but his days were numbered when the club drafted Texas forward Tristan Thompson with the No. 4 overall pick last week.
And although he may have been Cleveland's most talented player, a tendency to disappear in games and an overall lack of intensity - especially rebounding - frustrated Cavaliers coach Byron Scott last season. Scott was hard and demanded more of Hickson, who finally picked up his game and averaged 13.8 points and 8.7 rebounds.
But with Thompson, Antawn Jamison and Samardo Samuels at power forward, someone had to go and it was Hickson, drafted by the Cavs with the No. 19 overall pick in 2008.
"I'm kind of glad it's over with so my name is not involved in so many trade rumors," Hickson said. "I think the Kings did a good job in picking up a young, athletic big that is going to give his all and give it 110 percent."
The Cavs were also seeking a young wing player to pair with Thompson and No. 1 overall pick Kyrie Irving of Duke, and they believe they've gotten one in the 6-foot-9 Casspi, 23, a 47 percent 3-point shooter.
Casspi became the first Israeli to play in the NBA when he was drafted by Sacramento 23rd overall in 2009.