Monday , Jan , 19 , 2009 C.Y. Ellis

To trade or not to trade? A tough decision on Vince Carter.

To trade or not to trade? A tough decision on Vince Carter.A year ago on "Inside the NBA", Magic Johnson and Charles Barkley made a notion towards Vince Carter’s best days being behind him, citing his knees being shot from his high flying exploits above the rim.

A year later, Carter along with Devin Harris have formed one of the top backcourts in the league, while doing this for a team in unexpected playoff contention.

Carter, once questioned for his desire and maturity, was expected to want out of New Jersey this season. Instead, he’s assumed the leadership role and ran with it.

While all of this sounds positive, the fact remains of Vince not being 22 years old. He’s 32, and the Nets without him still have a solid core of Devin Harris and Brook Lopez.

What’s worth noting is Lopez’s play with Carter absent from the lineup. In a December 31st game against the Pistons, Vince Carter was ejected early in the game, making Lopez more of a focal point. Along with Devin Harris, the two would show a nice synergy on the pick and roll. All while it gave Lopez confidence to be more aggressive down on the block, resulting in frequent trips to the line. Lopez would finish with 23 points, 12 rebounds, and 2 blocks

The same could be said in the recent match up against the Boston Celtics. Boston simply blew the Nets out of the water for the second time in one week. The poor play resulted in Devin Harris and Vince Carter being benched early, while Brook Lopez stayed on the floor and continued to show his promise. He would finish with 28 points and 10 rebounds.

With a month to go until the trade deadline, Rod Thorn and Kiki Vandeweghe face a tough decision on whether to deal Vince Carter thinking he’s at his highest value. The Nets franchise is one of constantly losing money. Bribing fans with job opportunities in order to put butts in the Izod Center seats.

With the Nets in the thick of the Eastern Conference playoff contention, trading Vince Carter would be a very tough sell to the remaining fans at the Izod Center.

We Trust In Rod

Regardless of Kiki Vandeweghe having input on the situation, Rod Thorn has the final say on what deals get done. Nets fans should have confidence in Thorn’s ability to make a good trade, and not give in to any general manager.

It will take a package that includes at least one solid young player at the two guard position, coupled with cap flexibility.

Thorn, while faced with a tough decision, is also in a great position of leverage. If Thorn dislikes the offers he’s hearing, he can also fall back on the idea of "I want to see where this roster goes this season". Something he couldn’t say if the Nets were in the position of a team like the OKC Thunder.

A lot is going to ride on Carter’s performance in the next month. It would certainly behoove the Nets to make sure VC gets his shots. All it takes is a hot streak a week before the deadline to get a rival GM to pull the trigger on a deal.

Does anybody remember Mark Cuban?

Will Vince Carter be traded before the deadline? Will Rod and Kiki keep Carter on for a playoff run? Let us know in the box below.