Hickson signs multi-year contract with Denver

The Denver Nuggets agreed to terms on a multi- year contract with restricted free agent forward J.J. Hickson on Thursday.

According to the Denver Post, the Nuggets used the full midlevel exception to sign Hickson to a three-year pact worth just north of $15 million.

Hickson enjoyed the best season of his five-year professional career last season with the Portland Trail Blazers, averaging a double-double of 12.7 points and 10.4 rebounds while starting all 80 games in which he played.

"I thought J.J. was one of the most improved players in the league last year," Denver general manger Tim Connelly said. "He gives us a low-post option in the half-court and he's a relentless rebounder who will help us get out and run."

Hickson showed promise in his third season with the Cleveland Cavaliers, the team that drafted the 6-foot-9 forward back in 2008, but was shipped the following offseason to Sacramento, where he struggled mightily.

After posting 13.8 points and 8.7 rebounds during his last season with the Cavs, Hickson plummeted to 4.7 points and 5.1 rebounds in 35 games with the Kings and was eventually placed on waivers by the team in March of 2012.

Hickson was claimed by Portland and immediately flourished -- he totaled 15.1 points and 8.3 rebounds over the team's last 19 games of 2011-12 -- then went on to earn a full-time starting role this past season.