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NJ Abdur-Rahim Stalling: A Bargaining Tactic?

The Nets have made a big fuss about Shareef Abdur-Rahim's health, threatening to cancel the trade. All along, I haven't understood why they would do that. Either cancel it or not. I said on the first day we saw Thorn talk about it that the only reason I could understand for publicly complaining like that would be to try to convince the Blazers to reduce their price.

Now it looks like my speculation might have been on the money. On Eric Marentette's Blazer Blog at Oregonlive, a reader called BBfan4life has provided a write-up of a Blazer radio show. Reportedly, Blazer GM John Nash e-mailed into the show to say that Nets GM Rod Thorn has been in touch trying to reduce the asking price for Shareef Abdur-Rahim:

John Nash is on vacation back in Florida, but has e-mailed Courtside that tomorrow they will decide for sure whether to finalize the deal for SAR. They are discussing the power struggle between Thorne and Nash, such as give me back the first round pick and then we'll finalize the trade for SAR, and Nash will NOT do it.

If that's true--that Thorn has said he will finalize the deal for something less than a first-round pick--then that proves this is all some kind of ploy on the part of the Nets. Rod Thorn wouldn't give Abdur-Rahim a six-year deal if he really thought he had health problems, regardless of what else he had to give up.