NBA: Carter traded by Nets to Orlando
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. ó Vince Carter is going home to Orlando, and to the Eastern Conference champion Magic.
On a draft day when Cleveland made the biggest splash by trading for the Suns’ Shaquille O’Neal, Orlando made a blockbuster move of its own in acquiring the Nets’ Carter, an eight-time NBA All Star who grew up in Daytona Beach and lives in Orlando.
New Jersey also dealt forward Ryan Anderson to the Magic, who sent the Nets three players in return: Point guard Rafer Alston, shooting guard Courtney Lee and power forward Tony Battie.
The trade gives the Magic another star in a lineup that already includes Dwight Howard and Rashard Lewis. The deal might also convince Hedo Turkoglu, who can opt out of his contract and become a free agent on July 1, to remain with the Magic.
Orlando is hoping Carter, who has averaged 23.5 points over a 10-year pro career, will provide center Dwight Howard with a perimeter scorer who can create his own shot ó something they lacked in losing the NBA finals to the Los Angeles Lakers.
It’s also an indication the Magic believe their time is now.
“Vince gives us a veteran, go-to scoring presence, especially at the end of games,” Orlando general manager Otis Smith said in a statement. “Our goal remains the same ó to win a championship. Any time you can add an All-Star to help you reach your goals, you have to do it.”
Carter found out about the trade at his basketball camp, adding he thought it was a joke at first.
“Every player hopes for an opportunity like this, to just once compete for an NBA championship,” Carter said. “This a dream come true for me. Now I have a chance to win a championship.”
The deal shows the Nets are planning for free agency before the 2010-11 season, when LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and Amare Stoudemire can test the market. The trade gives New Jersey some $18 million in salary cap relief for the 2010-11 coming out season.
“The trade we made today provides our franchise with numerous options in the long-term development of our team,” Nets president Rod Thorn said in a statement.
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