I have mixed feelings about today's lack of action.
In the days leading up to the trade deadline, Vince Carter's name has cropped up in precisely 412 rumors with multiple NBA teams and one NHL team. The Nets are not likely heading to the playoffs, and Carter's salary impedes the team's grand plan for 2010. Plenty of teams would have interest in Carter's talent, so a trade appeared likely.
Sure, many fans bemoaned the notion of such a deal. Carter, they contended, is too good to let go. They're right: he is good. I don't like him much as a person, but he is a talented player. But how good are the Nets? How helpful is Vince Carter if they miss the playoffs anyway?
If Carter can't help the team succeed this year, he may as well help them in the future. Playing well won't help, because the rest of the team just isn't good enough. A salary dump, by contrast, would help the team down the road, as it would enable the signing of other star players, making the team better in a couple of years.
They have the young core in place, and they have plenty of cash available for the big summer looming in two offseasons from now. Trading Carter would be tough to swallow, but I think it would be truly beneficial.
The problem, though, is the Nets didn't feel they'd be getting a worthwhile exchange. I liked the Rockets' offer of Ron Artest and co. but the Nets didn't feel it was the right package. They received other offers, but they didn't feel the deals were worthwhile.
Fact is, Carter is a damn good player, and the Nets weren't about to give him away. They have yet another offseason and one more season before the ultimate sweepstakes begins in 2010, so they felt they had time to entice a better deal. In the meantime, they would rather get their money's worth from Carter, who has repeatedly said he wants to stay.
And so, I'm split. On the one hand, I wanted the Nets to make a move and help the team's future. On the other hand, the offers were weak, and the Nets felt retaining Carter was the best decision. In the end, they're left with a very good player, and it's hard to complain about that.
Maybe the Nets will shock everybody and make the playoffs. If not, they've got a couple of good picks in the first round of this summer's draft, and will have more time to deal Vince Carter. In the meantime, they felt staying put was the best idea, and the Nets fanbase as a whole (all four of us) seems pretty happy about it.
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