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Steve Politi Isn't a Doctor... UPDATED

8/5/2005

But nevertheless, the Star-Ledger columnist urges the Nets to ignore the red flags raised in Shareef Abdur-Rahim's physical and complete the trade with the Portland Blazers.

No one but the Nets and Abdur-Rahim know exactly what about the physical raised the red flags, except it has something to do with his knees. Whatever it was, team president Rod Thorn called it "a shock," and it threatens this deal enough that he is back on the phone, looking for a Plan B that almost certainly does not exist.

But unless the pre-existing condition is something career threatening, unless there is a time bomb in the veteran forward's knees that might go off any day now, Thorn should call everyone back to East Rutherford and complete this deal.

Politi's main point: there aren't any other good forwards available.

Here's a little background.

UPDATE: Sounds like the health issue at stake is the potential for arthritis in his right knee. Here's how Al Iannazzone tells it in the Bergen Record.

During the physical, the Nets found Abdur-Rahim has scar tissue in his knee, according to league sources. Abdur-Rahim, who had his right knee scoped in high school, has never missed an NBA game due to the injury. But the Nets are seeking second and third opinions before they commit six years and $38 million to the onetime All-Star.

"We'll gather all the information and make whatever decision we end up making," Nets president Rod Thorn said.

Sources said the Nets are concerned that Abdur-Rahim's knee could become arthritic. But Abdur-Rahim's agent, Aaron Goodwin, said his client has been playing with this his whole career and "it's a non-issue for us."