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It’s been almost 20 years since the Toronto Raptors traded away Vince Carter in a deal that sent shockwaves through the NBA.
At the time, Carter was one of the most popular players in the league and helped lead the Raptors to their first-ever playoff appearance.
So why was Vince Carter traded from the raptors? He was the man who put Toronto basketball on the map. He was drafted by the Raptors in 1998 and quickly became one of the most electrifying players in the league.
During his time with the Raptors, “Vinsanity” was a five-time All-Star and won the Slam Dunk Contest in 2000. In fact, “Half Man/Half Amazing” transformed basketball in Canada and is largely responsible for the sport’s growth in the country.
Read on to find out exactly why the Raptors traded away their biggest star!
Why Was Vince Carter Traded From The Raptors? (The Full Scoop)
There are a few reasons. First, Carter was entering the final year of his contract and was set to become a free agent.
The Raptors were worried that he would leave in free agency, so they decided to trade him before they got nothing in return.
Second, there was palpable tension brewing in Toronto. The Raptors had just fired their head coach, Butch Carter, and the team was in disarray. Many players were uncertain with the franchise’s direction, and Vince Carter was one of them.
Finally, there were concerns about Carter’s injury history – specifically his chronic jumper’s knee.
He had missed significant time in each of his first four seasons due to various injuries. As a result, the Raptors weren’t sure if he would be able to stay healthy for an entire season.
The Raptors were not happy with Carter’s attitude. He had clashed with head coach Butch Carter and often sulked on the bench.
Finally, the Raptors were not convinced that Carter was the player who could lead them to a championship.
So, the Raptors pulled the trigger on a deal that sent Carter to the New Jersey Nets in exchange for Alonzo Mourning, Eric Williams, Aaron Williams, and two first-round draft picks.
The trade turned out to be a disaster for the Raptors. They never won a championship, and Mourning failed to report to the team due to health issues. The Nets, on the other hand, went to two NBA Finals with Carter as their star player.
So was trading Carter the right move for the Raptors? It’s hard to say. If they had known what he would go on to achieve, they probably would have kept him. But at the time, it was a risk that didn’t pay off.
If you want more information on the Toronto Raptors and NBA divisions, read my article on the 6 NBA Divisions.
And If you want to learn more about how the trade went down, this video provides a detailed explanation:
Vince Carter’s Adversarial Relationship With The Press
Vince Carter was not happy with the way the Toronto press treated him. He felt like they were constantly critiquing his game and nitpicking at his every move.
In an interview with Bleacher Report, Carter said:
“I can remember being in Toronto and just having a hard time with the media there,” he said. “I was the young player coming up, and they were already labeling me as the savior of basketball in Canada. So I’m like, ‘I’m 19. I want to play.’
“They were always on my back about everything, whether it was shooting too much, not shooting enough, not playing defense—it was always something. So, I remember having a hard time with the media there.”
Carter’s relationship with the Toronto media was so bad that he started to avoid the press.
It’s not surprising that Carter felt this way. The pressure to perform is intense for any professional athlete, let alone one who is expected to grow basketball in an entire country single-handedly.
In the end, Carter’s strained relationship with the Toronto media was one of the factors that shaped his the public’s perception of Carter, whose vertical jump was quite impressive at the time (38 inches).
Pundits & Critics Called For Carter’s Head After Playoff Elimination
In game 7 of the Raptors’ playoff series with the Philadelphia 76ers, Vince Carter missed a wide-open jump shot that would have won the game for Toronto. Instead, the Raptors lost the game and the series, and the world blamed Carter.
Before game 7, Carter made a move that raised eyebrows. He decided to break away from the team and fly to North Carolina to attend his graduation ceremony, even though the Raptors were in the middle of a playoff series.
It was a widely criticized decision, and it put even more pressure on Carter to perform in game 7.
Was Vince too tired to perform well in game seven because he had just flown back from his graduation? We’ll never know for sure, but it’s possible that the trip took a toll on him physically and mentally.
In any case, the loss was devastating for Carter and the Raptors. And the blame fell squarely on his shoulders.
Headlines called for Carter to be traded, and fans were livid. It was one of the lowest points of Carter’s career, but he bounced back the following season and led the Raptors to another playoff berth.
However, the damage was done. The relationship between Carter and the Toronto media was strained, and it would only get worse in the years to follow.
When did Vince Carter leave the Raptors? (When Did He Get Traded To The Nets?)
Vince Carter was traded from the Raptors to the Nets on December 17, 2004. Both basketball and business considerations drove the decision.
The Raptors were looking to unload Carter’s hefty contract, and the front office believed that he wasn’t the player who could lead them to a championship.
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What happened to Vince Carter?
Vince Carter had a very successful NBA career. He was an 8-time All-Star, and he won the Rookie of the Year award in 1999.
Carter had one of the longest NBA careers of any player in recent history. He played for 22 seasons, and he was the oldest player in the league at the time of his retirement in 2020.
He averaged 16.7 PTS/7.5 REB/1.6 AST per game on 45.1% shooting efficiency.
If it weren’t for the COVID-19 pandemic, Carter would have likely played for at least one more season.
What Teams Did Vince Carter Play For?
He played for several teams throughout his career, including the Nets, Magic, Hawks, Mavericks, Grizzlies, and Kings.
How Did The Raptors End Up Drafting Vince Carter? (Draft Trade)
The Raptors drafted Vince Carter with the fifth overall pick in the 1998 NBA Draft.
They acquired the pick in a trade with the Golden State Warriors.
The Warriors were looking to build around his Tarheel teammate Antawn Jamison, so they traded away the pick that would eventually be used to draft Carter.
What Was The Vince Carter To Orlando Magic Trade?
The Magic traded away Courtney Lee, Rafer Alston, Tony Battie, and a 2009 1st round pick to the Nets in exchange for Vince Carter and Ryan Anderson.
Where is Vince Carter now?
Vince Carter is currently working as an analyst for Turner Sports. He’s also a minority owner of the Atlanta Hawks.
In 2020, he was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
It’s safe to say that Vince Carter has had a very successful post-NBA career.
How old is Vince Carter?
Vince Carter is 45 years old. He was born on January 26, 1977 in Daytona Beach, Florida.
What’s Vince Carter’s net worth?
Vince Carter’s net worth is estimated to be $110 million.
This includes his NBA salary and his earnings from endorsements and other business ventures.