Phoenix Suns Official Website: Q&A With J.J. Hickson
Question: Are you just testing the waters or are you definitely in the draft?
J.J. Hickson: I would say that I’m definitely in the draft. I came out just testing the waters but since I’m hearing a lot of good things about my game I’m not going to pull my name out.
Question: What are you hearing that leads you to believe that it is a good move to stay in the draft?
Hickson: I’m not really hearing anything, but I think I’ve given a bunch of good showings. I’m coming in here and I'm trying to impress the scouts and that’s why I think I’m going to keep my name in. I think I’m having good showings.
Question: Are you NBA-ready as far as you are concerned?
Hickson: Yeah, I think so.
Hickson finished his freshman season averaging 14.8 points and 8.5 rebounds while shooting an ACC-leading 59% from the field. He led the Wolfpack in all three categories and blocked shots. For his efforts, he was an honorable mention All-ACC selection and All-ACC Rookie Team pick.
This will be a major decision for Hickson. In 2007, the NBA reduced contracts for rookies from three guaranteed years to two. The two-year guaranteed contracts have two additional years that are team options, giving teams the chance to extend contracts for two more seasons if they are satisfied with the progress of the player. The No. 1 pick in the 2007 NBA Draft, Greg Oden, was guaranteed $3.885 million his rookie season. The last pick in the first round, Petteri Koponen, was guaranteed $771,000 his first year in the league.
Rookie salaries are not automatically guaranteed for second-round picks, but over the years some second-round picks have been able to negotiate guaranteed money.