The NY Post and ESPN are reporting that the New Jersey Nets have reached an agreement in principle with the Portland Trailblazers to send the 22nd pick in Thursday's NBA draft to Portland for backup PG Eddie Gill and $3 million. Due to league rules, the trade cannot be officially announced until Thursday night.
This is a curious move for the Nets but the dealing between the teams may just be beginning. Rumours are flying hot and heavy that this may just be the precursor to a bigger deal involving shipping Kerry Kittles and Aaron Williams to Portland for Shareef Abdur Rahim.
Presumably the current deal gives the Trail Blazers more flexibility in their pursuit of Coney Island native Sebastian Telfair. For the Nets this may be the first of many moves facilitated in order to cut the teams payroll. The Post reports that "prospective owner Bruce Ratner has ordered cost-cutting measures that might drastically alter next year's team, according to multiple sources around the club."
The proposed deal for Abdur Rahim may signal the end of the Kenyon Martin's time in New Jersey. Martin, who is seeking a contract extension this summer, wants a max contract and Ratner, who ordered a 40 percent hike in premium tickets prices for next season, is loathe to give him one since Richard Jefferson is eligible for his contract extension the following summer. Jefferson will also command a high salary and Ratner does not want to add two more maximum contracts to the one he is already paying Jason Kidd.
"The team is going to look a lot different from the past couple years," one source maintained.
This looks to be the first of many deals leading up to Thursday night's draft. Keep your browser pointed to Gothamist Sports for further draft coverage.
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