Saturday , Jun , 30 , 2007 Oly Sandor

Vince Carter Opts-Out But Should Stay In New Jersey, Richard Jefferson To Indiana For Jermaine O’Neal?

Vince Carter has officially opted-out of his contract with the New Jersey Nets … But Carter and the Nets are expected to agree on a new four year contract … Does this mean the Nets will trade Richard Jefferson for a low-post presence like Jermaine O’Neal? … Click here for news and analysis …

The Associated Press reports on VInce Carter’s status with the New Jersey Nets:

Vince Carter opted out of the final year of a contract with the New Jersey Nets that would have paid the All-Star guard $16.3 million this coming season.

Nets’ President Rod Thorn said Saturday the team was informed Friday that Carter would test the free agent market, but he remained optimistic the 30-year-old swingman would return next season.

"Unless he’s changed his mind, we’re hoping he’s back," Thorn told The Associated Press in a telephone interview. "He said he wants to return and we’ve always said we wanted him back."

The two sides have talked about a contract for the past month, and they are close to an agreement on a four-year deal worth more than $60 million.

Any new contract could not be signed until July 11. If the two sides reach an agreement, Thorn said the team is prohibited from announcing the deal until then.

My Quick Take: I’ve covered this topic before. Again, it’s no surprise that Carter will re-sign with the Nets. Both the player and organization are comfortable with each other. I think it’s a bit too much money for an inconsistent scorer. But the Nets have to overpay VC to prevent him from exercising his option and becoming a free agent. It’s the cost of doing business.

We’ve established that Carter’s most likely returning to the swamps of Jersey for four more seasons. And is staying as well; he’s not heading off to L.A. for Andrew Bynum or anyone else.

Here’s the question: will the Nets trade for a post?

The club denies shopping Jefferson. They maintain their three-man is not available and that the club will address their need for a big man through free agency.

But league sources continue to insist otherwise.

First, we heard Jefferson was off to Portland for Zach Randolph. This rumor never materialized. And Randolph landed across the Hudson with the New York .

Now, Jefferson is rumored to be on his way to as part of a package deal for .

The Nets need a low post presence. But dealing Jefferson to get that post presence isn’t the answer. His all-round game complements Carter and provides New Jersey with another star player.

Click here to read and subscribe to Oly Sandor’s NBA Blog.