EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Vince Carter is going home to Orlando and to the Eastern Conference champion Magic.
On a draft day when the Cleveland Cavaliers made the biggest splash by officially trading for the Phoenix Suns’ Shaquille O’Neal, Orlando made a blockbuster move in acquiring the New Jersey 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 Wednesday, 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 it 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.”
“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.”
In other trades:
•In exchange for sending O’Neal to Cleveland – a deal reported by several media outlets Wednesday night – Phoenix acquired center Ben Wallace, swingman Sasha Pavlovic, a second-round pick in the 2010 draft and cash.
•The Atlanta Hawks acquired guard Jamal Crawford from the Golden State Warriors for guards Acie Law and Speedy Claxton.
•The Denver Nuggets traded a future first-round draft pick to the Minnesota Timberwolves for the rights to North Carolina point guard Ty Lawson, whom the Timberwolves had selected at No. 18. The Nuggets landed Lawson in exchange for a future first-round pick they had acquired from Charlotte last year.
•The New York Knicks traded swingman Quentin Richardson and cash to Memphis for center Darko Milicic, and also acquired the rights to Toney Douglas, the No. 29 pick, from the Lakers for cash and a future second-round pick.
•The Oklahoma City Thunder and Dallas Mavericks swapped their draft picks from late in the first round. The Thunder will get 7-foot center B.J. Mullens from Ohio State for point guard Rodrigue Beaubois from Guadaloupe, plus a future second-round pick.
•New Orleans acquired LSU guard Marcus Thornton, the 43rd pick by Miami, for two future second-round picks.
•Houston acquired Central Florida guard Jermaine Taylor and Spanish guard Sergio Llull, purchasing the second-round picks of the Washington Wizards and Denver.
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