The Denver Nuggets bolstered their frontcourt Thursday by signing free agent forward J.J. Hickson to a three-year deal.
The 24-year-old bruiser is coming off his best season last year in Portland when he averaged 12.7 points and a career-high 10.4 rebounds. He joined Dwight Howard as the only players to average 12 points, 10 boards and shoot at least 55 percent from the field.
General manager Tim Connelly called Hickson ''one of the most improved players in the league last year,'' and said he gives Denver a low-post option in the halfcourt ''and he's a relentless rebounder who will help us get out and run.''
Hickson has averaged 9.8 points and 6.8 rebounds in five NBA seasons with stops in Cleveland, Sacramento and Portland.