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J.J. Hickson finalizing a deal to sign with Fujian Sturgeons in China

Former NBA first-round pick J.J. Hickson is finalizing a deal to sign with the Fujian Sturgeons in China, according to league sources.

Sources told ESPN.com that Hickson will start this season in the Chinese Basketball Association after splitting time last season between the Denver Nuggets and Washington Wizards.

Because China's season ends in the early spring, it typically affords NBA veterans such as Hickson an opportunity to vie for 10-day contracts to return to the league in March and April after completing their season abroad.

Former NBA All-Star Carlos Boozer recently signed with the Guangdong Southern Tigers with the hope of returning to the NBA once the Tigers' season ends.

Hickson, 27, was the 19th overall pick by the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2008 and spent three seasons with the Cavs, peaking in 2010-11 when he averaged 13.3 points and 8.7 rebounds.

He has also played for Sacramento and Portland in addition to the Nuggets and Wizards. He averaged 5.9 points and 3.8 rebounds in 35 games last season.