EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Vince Carter is going home to Orlando, and to the Eastern Conference champion Magic.
On a draft day when Cleveland made the biggest splash by trading for the Suns' Shaquille O'Neal, Orlando made a blockbuster move of itsown in acquiring the Nets' Carter, an eight-time NBA All Star who grew up in Daytona Beach and lives in Orlando.
The trade gives the Magic another star in a lineup that already includes Dwight Howard and Rashard Lewis. The deal might also convinceHedo Turkoglu, who can opt out of his contract and become a free agent on July 1, 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 perimeterscorer who can create his own shot -- something they 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."
Carter found out about the trade at his basketball camp, adding he thought it was a joke at first.
"Every player hopes for an opportunity like this, to just once compete for an NBA championship," Carter said. "This a dream come true forme. Now I have a chance to win a championship."
The deal shows the Nets are planning for free agency before the 2010-11 season, when LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh andAmare Stoudemire can test the market. The trade gives New Jersey some $18 million in salary cap relief for the 2010-11 coming out season.
"The trade we made today provides our franchise with numerous options in the long-term development of our team," Nets president RodThorn said in a statement.