ESPN's day of scoops rolls on with Chad Ford announcing that Portland free agent Shareef Abdur-Rahim is nearly a New Jersey Net.
To make the deal work under cap rules, the Portland Trail Blazers, who own Abdur-Rahim's rights, would have to agree to sign him to the contract and then trade him to the Nets using a $5 million trade exception that the Nets own. In return, the Nets would send a future first round pick to the Blazers.
If the Nets are unable to get the Blazers to agree to a sign-and-trade, Abdur-Rahim has agreed to sign with the Nets for their mid-level exception at five years for about $28 million, according to the team source.
All along Nets honcho Rod Thorn has been saying he won't trade a first-rounder to Portland, but the Blazers' John Nash has been steadfast. If the Blazers really do get a first-rounder, it looks like Nash has made another smart move.