Fact or Fiction: Vince Carter is Valuable Enough to Merit an Upgrade at the Wing Position in a Trade | Magic Basketball

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Sep 12

Fact or Fiction: Vince Carter is Valuable Enough to Merit an Upgrade at the Wing Position in a Trade

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Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Fact or Fiction presents both sides of key issues the Orlando Magic will face in the upcoming season.

Vince Carter’s expiring contract is the Magic’s best opportunity to upgrade the wing position with a high-quality player (go-to guy) for the future.

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Fact
The off-season is nearly over for the Orlando Magic and the rest of the NBA, but that didn’t mean there wasn’t any drama along the way. After the Magic lost to the Boston Celtics in the 2010 NBA Eastern Conference Finals, the rumor mill began to heat up concerning Vince Carter‘s future with the team after his lackluster performance in the series.

In late June, word broke out that Chris Paul was open to being traded as long as he got a chance to win and soon after, there was a report that Orlando offered Carter in a trade alongside Jameer Nelson for the all-world point guard. And when Carmelo Anthony indicated his desire to leave the Denver Nuggets nearly a month ago, the Magic were initially listed as a team of interest. Even though Carter’s name wasn’t explicitly brought up in any trade scenarios, it was assumed that he could be dealt since he would be replaced by Anthony at one of the wing positions.

Why all the chatter about Carter?

Because Carter has, more or less, an expiring contract. It’s important to note that Carter’s contract in 2012 is guaranteed for $4 million if he’s waived before June 30, 2011. Even though it’s not a purely expiring contract, there’s no question that any team acquiring Carter in a deal would save a chunk of money.

It’s clear that Carter has value and could be a trade chip for Orlando at the deadline, if general manager Otis Smith wants to explore the possibility.

Fiction
But is Carter, alone, enough to land a high-quality player?

It doesn’t appear so. Carter is 33 and slowly declining, as the numbers show. It would be highly unlikely that the Magic would be able to swap Carter for a better player in a one-on-one trade, because the financial savings wouldn’t be enough to merit that type of move for a team.

The only way, it appears, for Orlando to upgrade at the wing position — if they choose to take that route — is to package Carter in a deal involving other players and/or draft picks. Yes, there was the rumored Carter-for-Arenas trade a while back with the Washington Wizards but that’s not an upgrade for the Magic.

It’ll be interesting to see what happens with Carter. After this season, Orlando could waive Carter but that would do nothing more than push the ledger closer to the luxury tax threshold. In other words, the Magic would be unable to utilize the money being freed up with Carter’s release because they’re over the salary cap.

It would behoove Smith not to trade Carter at some point in time, but it’s a long year and anything can happen.

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This is a cut-and-dry answer.

Verdict: Fiction

10 comments
Eddy Rivera
Eddy Rivera

@Rick

Hah. Yeah, I'm DEFINITELY no Bill Simmons.

Rick
Rick

@Eddy Rivera

Oh ok, I understand. I respect what you're saying with all the rumors floating around since Game 6 against the Celtics...

So I guess you're definitely not Bill Simmons lol.

Eddy Rivera
Eddy Rivera

@Rick

On the contrary. I wrote this post after a commenter submitted an idea for the Fact or Fiction series I'm writing at the site. I have nothing personal against Carter. I've interviewed him plenty of times, and he's a pleasant person to speak with. If I ever mention Carter in trade talks, I'm simply responding to the bevy of rumors that have been out there involving him.

Rick
Rick

@Eddy Rivera

I'm guessing you're not much of a Vince Carter fan since you're always bringing up trading him away.

I say give him till the All-Star break and if Vince is under-performing then look to see what you can get for him.

Eddy Rivera
Eddy Rivera

@Billy (slickw143)

Hurray for ESPN-style commenting!

Eddy Rivera
Eddy Rivera

@Chris, @Raptor

Fantastic? I doubt it.

@mentalmagic

It's not that it isn't advisable. I mean, sure, the Magic would swap Carter in a one-on-one trade. But I have a hard time believing that Orlando could net an upgrade at one of the wing positions by dealing Carter on his own.

mentalmagic
mentalmagic

It would be nice if Carter could finish his career here and I think that largely revolves around his play this year. To trade him solo is not advisable...agree with fiction.

Chris
Chris

Vince Carter will have a fantastic season this year with the Magic.