The Wizards have come to terms with center/forward J.J. Hickson, who was recently waived b the Denver Nuggets, on a contract for the rest of the season on a pro-rated veteran minimum, CSNmidatlantic.com has been told by persons with knowledge of the situation.
He's expected to join the Wizards on Thursday when they arrive in Philadelphia to play the 76ers and should be in uniform.
Hickson, who averaged 6.9 points on 50.5% shooting and 4.4 rebounds in 20 games this season, was among the short list of candidates by CSN earlier this week to fill the 15th and final roster spot which opened when Kris Humphries and DeJuan Blair were dealt to the Phoenix Suns last week. The Wizards received Markieff Morris in return.
Hickson fills two voids: He's a hustle player and gives the Wizards extra size and toughness that they've lacked inside all season.
The Wizards had until March 1 to come to terms with a free agent who has played in the NBA this season because that's when postseason rosters are set (if Hickson hadn't played in the league, see when Will Bynum was signed from China last year, that deadline wouldn't apply).
Martell Webster was waived before the season because of a right hip injury that required season-ending surgery. The Wizards were granted a Disabled Player Exception by the NBA. They had to cut Webster and received half of his salary ($2.8 million) to put towards another player though not required.
Because the Wizards are over the salary cap but under the luxury tax, they could've offered no more than $2.4 million before they acquired Morris last week. After the deal, that cut the amount they could offer to a player such as Hickson in half -- not at a pro-rated amount for games left but a lump sum -- to just above $1 million.
By not using the exception on Hickson, however, doesn't mean they couldn't make another move. In theory, they could cut a player and use the DPE on another free agent who comes available. If not, the DPE expires March 10.