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Evilmav2
10-30-2004, 07:55 AM
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Nets offer Kidd to Blazers for Abdur-Rahim

The New Jersey point guard's knee and salary could be obstacles to trading Portland's unhappy forward

Wednesday, September 15, 2004
JASON QUICK

The New Jersey Nets have proposed a trade with the Trail Blazers that would include sending All-Star point guard Jason Kidd to the Blazers for disgruntled forward Shareef Abdur-Rahim, a source in the Blazers organization said.

The teams are in the early stages of discussions, the source said, with a major sticking point being the Blazers' concern about Kidd's health.

Kidd, 31, had left knee surgery July 1 and is expected to sit out at least the first month of the season.

Kidd, who signed a six-year contract last season worth more than $100 million, will make more than Abdur-Rahim's $14.6 million salary next season, meaning the Blazers probably would have to add a player to make the salaries match.

Blazers coach Maurice Cheeks on Tuesday night said he is aware of the talks, but he said nothing concrete has been established.

"I don't put any stock in it until there is a real possibility of it happening," Cheeks said. "And right now, I don't think it's a real possibility. But I think if you can get Jason Kidd, you've got to get Jason Kidd."

The Nets tried to acquire Abdur-Rahim earlier this summer, offering Kerry Kittles, Aaron Williams and a first-round draft pick, but the trade was halted when the Blazers signed Trenton Hassell to an offer sheet.

Since then, Hassell re-signed with Minnesota and Kittles was traded to the Los Angeles Clippers. New Jersey, which is under new ownership, is trying to cut salary and is desperately looking for a power forward to fill the void Kenyon Martin left when he went to Denver as a free agent.

General manager John Nash stuck to his policy of not discussing trade rumors.

"There is no reason I would want to talk about trades," Nash said.

Kidd was a first-team all-NBA player last season after averaging 15.5 points and an NBA-leading 9.2 assists. It was the fifth time he has led the NBA in assists and the fifth time he was a first-team all-NBA selection.

Abdur-Rahim, 27, has asked for a trade and has threatened not to report to training camp because he is unhappy with his reduced role. After being acquired from Atlanta in February, he played behind rising star Zach Randolph at power forward and saw his career averages nearly halved.

The Blazers said their intention this season was to play Abdur-Rahim in a three-forward rotation, where he would share time at small forward and power forward with Randolph and Darius Miles.

Two weeks ago, after the Blazers signed Miles to a six-year deal, Nash said the team had no plans to trade Abdur-Rahim, and that he expected Abdur-Rahim to show up on time for training camp. Now, after a call by the Nets, those plans appear to have changed.

"I mean, who wouldn't be interested in Jason Kidd?" Cheeks said. "But I don't think you can get your hopes up too high right now."

Jason Quick: 503-221-4372; jasonquick@news.oregonian.com

The Oregonian (http://www.oregonlive.com/sports/oregonian/index.ssf?/base/sports/109524934446620.xml)