SG – 6’6, 200lbs – Born 2nd April 1992
If you come out of a mid-major school, the G-League is often the best way to get from there to the highest levels. As one of many examples, think on how David Nwaba went from Cal Poly to guaranteed NBA contracts via D-League tryouts. And this year, after four seasons with the Mad Ants, Hicks did the same when he received a thanks-for-sticking-around midseason 10-day contract from the Pacers, à la Trey McKinney-Jones last season. He never actually took the court, but it’s a big step.
Over his four years with the Mad Ants, Hicks has sought to expand his game. He arrived as a constant transition threat, off-ball cutter, athletic finisher, dunker and rebounder with decent spot-up shooting, and he still is that, yet he has tried to develop somewhat as a ball-handler, shooter and scorer. The release on the shot is not as smooth as the rest of his game, and he remains somewhat average as a shooter, yet Hicks plays within his role, makes few errors, still continues to leak out at every opportunity and knows his offensive role.
More than anything, Hicks has been asked to be very versatile defensively, playing a lot more power forward than before after a career hitherto as a wing. The rebounding tenacity comes in useful here, and the big wing has become a viable small-ball four man. Consistent, flexible and hard-working, Hicks has used the platform of the G-League to build a CV that should get him a long playing career. Given that he stands out neither a shooter or a defender, it is not likely to be at the NBA level beyond the occasional toe-dip, yet having come as far as he has, perhaps we should not rule it out.
– 20th June, 2019
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