This why I don't understand your thinking.
Pekovic is avg. 2 more points and 3 less rebounds then Hickson. ALL while being 3 years older and playing his natural position.
And Jefferson who I really like is only avg. 4 more points and 2 less rebounds. All the while being 4 years older and getting more touches.
Like I said not to many people can Avg. a double double for a season. You have to pay for that.
Also the defense thing isn't the biggest problem. We have bigs who can block shots and we can draft some defensive bigs. But we don't have a post scorer or great rebounder. There isn't one in the draft.
Hickson is still young and does the stuff we need the most.
See, I do understand your thinking. You see Hickson's 13 ppg and 11 rpg at the age of 24 and you think "oh man he's prime to breakout", but this is his breakout season. I mean, yes it is possible that he gets better, but looking at this on the analytical side of things -- it's just not on his side. He's shooting 50% from mid range this season (the last three seasons he has shot 21%, 30%, 30%), and he's shooting a tad bit better in the paint this season (64% compared to 60% as his average). A lot of that is due to all of the talent around him. I mean, he's playing in a starting lineup with Lillard, Mathews, Batum, and Aldridge. You're logic is a bit flawed thinking that he'd be more productive playing in a lesser lineup like the Bobcats, but in reality advanced stats show that he'd slow down. He's being left largely uncovered for the most part due in large part to the Blazers having 4 better options on the court most of the time, along with three very good 3pt shooters and a fantastic mid range shooter in LA.
The reason why I like Pekovic so much is that his stats have remained extremely consistent for two years in a row now despite ever changing teammates. Pekovic is also a 7 footer who is a fantastic post player and a guy that, while he isn't a great shot blocker, he's a good presence to have inside due to his size.
The reason why I like Big Al Jefferson so much is because his stats have remained consistent for many years; you know exactly what you will get from him (close to 20 ppg and 10 rpg on 50% shooting). He's also one of the best post players in the NBA and has better than average size. The thing that I don't like about Jefferson is that at 6-10 he is a bit undersized for the C position (although he is 289), and his defense is simply average at his best. However you can feed him the ball inside and there is a good chance that he will score if he has good post position.
I guess it comes down to, would you rather overpay Pek, Jefferson, or Hickson? Do you want size, post player, an inside presence, but average rebounding (Pek), top post play, rebounding, extremely consistent play, but is stuck at a 5 due to his lack of athleticism (Jefferson), or an energy guy that will grab up rebounds at a high rate, always hustle, does very well in PnR, but is undersized and really stuck at the 5, judging by his lack of success at the 4 + poor defensively and has zero post game (Hickson). *sorry for such long responses, but there is just a lot to say on this matter tbh