In a year where they will be battling for a playoff slot, the Denver Nuggets will be without F/C JJ Hickson for the first five games of the season due to failing a drug test administered by the association.
Five games without pay is the standard suspension for the usage of marijuana after the third failed test. The first two failures require counseling to be applied, which didn't seem to work in this case.
Maybe it was due to the fact that the state of Colorado has legalized the usage of marijuana recreationally, but, both the policy of the league, and the Collective Bargaining Agreement, which the players union agreed too, is against the usage of recreational marijuana.
Hickson started 52 games for the 2013-14 injury riddled Nuggets, putting up 11.8 points and shooting over a 50% clip. The third big for the team will be missed, as Denver plays Detroit, the Thunder, Sacramento (twice) and Cleveland during the period.