Welcome to Orlando Vince Carter

APTOPIX Nets Bobcats BasketballDidn’t we think it would be a fairly uneventful draft day for the Orlando Magic?

Guess not.

The Orlando Magic acquired Vince Carter and Ryan Anderson from the New Jersey Nets for Courtney Lee, Rafer Alston, and Tony Battie. Here is a link to Vince’s press conference from Thursday.

This begs the question for the Magic, was it worth it? Battie and Alston were trade bait. Everyone knew that, but what about promising rookie Courtney Lee? He had some major disappointments during the NBA Finals but overall, he was very impressive as a rookie. I’m going to miss Courtney Lee, but an eight-time All Star is impossible to pass up. If the Magic do in fact lose Hedo Turkoglu and it looks like they will, they have replaced him with a better player.

Vince has excellent career averages. Over the course of his career, he’s averaged 23.5 PPG, 5.5 RPG, and 4.3 APG. His numbers didn’t fall much in his 11th NBA season last year. He scored 20.8 points per game, grabbed 5.1 rebounds per game, and dished out 4.7 assists per game.

For those worried about durability, Carter played in 80 games last year. He played in 79 games in 2005-06, 82 the next season and 76 the year after that. Carter, who led the Raptors into game 7 of the 2001 Eastern Conference semifinals against Philadelphia, has actually been a very good postseason player. He has averaged 25.9 points per game in the postseason, along with higher rebounding and assist numbers.

Vince adds an unbelievable new dimension to the Orlando offense. He can create his own shot at any time. He can catch and shoot. He can post people up and get shots off in the paint. He can hit 3-pointers and he is no stranger to hitting game winning shots. After thinking about it, I can’t see the bad in this move. Vince has been know as a bit of a lazy defender, but maybe Stan Van Gundy and the Magic’s excellent defense can have a very positive effect on him a la Ray Allen in Boston. If you’re a Magic fan, you can’t get even more excited. This team has just taken another step towards a championship.

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