Sunday , Jan , 20 , 2008 Oly Sandor

Four years, $62 Million For Vince Carter: What Was New Jersey Thinking?

Vince Carter had dunked the ball and his forearm. For now, he was on top of the basketball world. A gifted athlete destined for greatness.

That was nearly seven years ago. February, 2000. This must have been the image New Jersey owner Bruce Ratner had in mind when he inked Carter to a four year, 62 million dollar extension this past summer …

Four years, $62 Million For Vince Carter: What Was New Jersey Thinking?My AM Take: “It’s over. It’s over,” yelled Kenny Smith. His TNT colleague Charles Barkley was so stunned he was actually silent. And the audience at All-Star weekend was in disbelief.

Vince Carter had dunked the ball and his forearm. For now, he was on top of the basketball world. A gifted athlete destined for greatness.

That was nearly seven years ago. February, 2000. This must have been the image New Jersey owner Bruce Ratner had in mind when he inked Carter to a four year, 62 million dollar extension this past summer.

Ratner wanted to re-sign Carter, believing the high-flyer would sell tickets when the club moved to Brooklyn.

Six months later, Carter’s contract is a lemon. His play has been shaky. I’m not trying to hate, but he’s done little to justify such a mega deal.

The Nets’ front office knows it, too. Over the last week, Carter’s name popped-up in separate trade rumors. First, word spread New Jersey and New York discussed a Carter-Zach Randolph swap. Yesterday, reports surfaced that the Nets and Pacers were talking about a Carter-Jermaine O’Neal swap.

Neither deal would improve the Nets. The club would be moving one bad contract and taking on another.

Here’s some advice for Ratner: research your players. If the owner investigated Carter, he would’ve found this quote:

In an interview broadcast Thursday on TNT, network analyst John Thompson asked Carter if he pushed himself as hard as he should have in Toronto.

"In years past, no," said Carter, acquired by the New Jersey Nets on Dec 17. "I was fortunate to have the talent … you get spoiled when you’re able to do a lot of things. You see that you don’t have to work at it. (ESPN)

Carter is a one-dimensional scorer, undeserving of top dollars. Unfortunately, Ratner and the New Jersey Nets learned this lesson the hard way.

What are your thoughts on Carter? Get at us in the comment box below with your thoughts or discuss this article in our fan forum.

The AM Take is Oly’s morning thoughts on the NBA, appearing Sunday through Friday on HoopsVibe.com. Errors can be attributed to the time and his need for another coffee. Click here to get his AM Take and subscribe to his blog.