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Nets deal Carter to Magic for Alston, Lee
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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP)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 plans to 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 - 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 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."
"I thought they liked Courtney Lee, especially after the way he played in the finals," Miami forward Michael Beasley said at the Heat draft party. "So, so unexpected. ... Vince Carter, great player. I think him and Dwight Howard can do great things together. Vince Carter is a lot like Hedo Turkoglu, better in some sense. I think they can do great things together." With Jameer Nelson already named the starting point guard for next season, the team was looking to move Alston - and his $5.25 million contract that ends after next season. Alston was acquired at the trade deadline from the Houston Rockets after Nelson suffered what was then called a season-ending shoulder surgery. Alston's acquisition largely saved the Magic's season, but when Nelson was able to return for the finals, Alston complained about his minutes and the point guards never could find their rhythm. The Magic's biggest cost-cutting move is parting ways with the 33-year-old Battie, who will make $6.2 million next season in the final year of his contract. Carter's departure ends the era of the Nets' Big Three. Point guard Jason Kidd was traded to Dallas early in 2008 and Richard Jefferson was dealt to Milwaukee on draft day a year ago for Yi Jianlian and Bobby Simmons. Carter, who was acquired from Toronto in December 2004, carried most of the offensive load for New Jersey last season, along with Harris and rookie center Brook Lopez. Anderson, a 6-foot-10 forward who was the 21st pick overall in last year's draft, started 30 games and averaged 7.4 points and 4.7 rebounds. A few hours after trading Carter, the Nets used the 11th pick in the draft to select Terrence Williams, a versatile 6-foot-6 small forward from Louisville.
|"Vince gives us a veteran, go-to scoring presence, especially at the end of games."|
| Magic GM Otis Smith|