Nets trade Vince Carter to Magic
Former Toronto Raptors superstar Vince Carter is headed home to Orlando.
Carter, 32, was shipped Thursday from the New Jersey Nets, with forward Ryan Anderson, to the Eastern Conference champion Orlando Magic for point guard Rafer Alston, forward Tony Battie and swingman Courtney Lee.
Carter, one of the most dynamic players in the NBA, is a native of Daytona Beach, Fla., and resides in Orlando.
"Every player hopes for an opportunity like this," he said, "to just once compete for an NBA championship.
"This a dream come true for me. Now I have a chance to win a championship."
"Vince gives us a veteran, go-to scoring presence, especially at the end of games," Magic general manager Otis Smith said in a statement.
"Our goal remains the same — to win a championship. Any time you can add an [eight-time] all-star to help you reach your goals, you have to do it."
New Jersey cleared about $17.5 million US in salary cap space for the 2010-11 NBA season, when LeBron James headlines a bumper crop of elite players eligible for free agency.
Alston and Battie will earn $5.25 million US and $6.2 million US in the final year of their respective contracts, while Lee and Anderson offset each other on the ledger.
Carter, by comparison, is slated to make $16.1 million US and $17.5 million US in the final two years of his contract.
"The trade we made today provides our franchise with numerous options in the long-term development of our team," Nets president Rod Thorn said.
"I think everyone here is sad because everybody liked Vince," he continued. "But the reality of the situation is we have to do what is best for our franchise and move on from there."
Carter has averaged 23.5 points, 5.5 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 37.7 minutes in 777 appearances (770 starts) over 11 NBA seasons with the Raptors and Nets.
He averaged 20.8 points, 5.1 rebounds, 4.7 assists and 36.8 minutes in 80 starts this past season.
Carter was drafted fifth overall out of North Carolina in 1998 by the Golden State Warriors, who promptly dealt his negotiating rights to the Raptors for the rights to Antawn Jamison and cash considerations.
Carter was Toronto's marquee attraction for six-plus seasons before he was traded to New Jersey for Alonzo Mourning, Aaron Williams, Eric Williams and a pair of first-round draft picks on Dec. 17, 2004.
With files from The Associated Press