Deal would include sign-and-trade with Trail Blazers

The New Jersey Nets have found their replacement for Kenyon Martin. And he's coming at a real bargain.

A team source said the Nets and Blazers agreed in principle to a sign-and-trade that will get them Shareef Abdur-Rahim a six-year contract.

Abdur-Rahim's agent, Aaron Goodwin, told the
Oregonian: "Portland completed the deal with New Jersey, so
Shareef will officially sign with the Nets. He will sign a
six-year, $40 million contract."

In return, the Nets will send a lottery protected 2006 first-round pick to the Blazers.

It's a great deal for the Nets.

The Nets refused to pay Martin, their last power forward, a max contract last summer and eventually traded him to the Nuggets for three future first round picks. The Nets used some of those picks to acquire Vince Carter from the Toronto Raptors at midseason. Now they'll use the trade exception they received from the Martin deal to acquire Abdur-Rahim.

Abdur-Rahim might be coming at less than half the price of Martin, but he isn't half the player. Abdur-Rahim, who is 28, has averaged 19 points per game and 8.1 rebounds per game for his career. Last season he struggled through injuries, but still managed 16.8 ppg and 7.1 rpg. Martin has averaged 12.4 ppg and 5.1 rpg for his career and had 15.5 ppg and 7.3 rpg for the Nuggets last season.

Since the Nets will land Abdur-Rahim with their trade exception, look for new owner Bruce Ratner to keep spending money. The Nets still own their full mid-level exception. The Nets have been in serious talks with free-agent guard Keyon Dooling with part of their mid-level exception. However the Nets are getting serious competition for Dooling's services from the Magic. The Nets are looking for a combo guard who can help Jason Kidd keep his minutes down to about 30 a night.

The Nets also have reached agreement with forward
Clifford Robinson, a person within the league told The Associated Press on condition of

Contract terms were not available.

Free agent deals cannot be officially announced until the
league's new collective bargaining agreement is signed, something
expected to occur within the next week.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.