December 2004: Vince Carter Traded
"Who'd we get? Richard Jefferson?" - Jalen Rose
Sadly Jalen, the Raptors did not pry any comparable talent away from the New Jersey Nets when trading 7-time All-Star, former Slam Dunk Champion, and arguably the most popular player in the post-Jordan era of the NBA. They did however get 2 draft picks, 2 career journeymen, and a $10 million a year centre whom team doctors would not allow to play. Not mentioned in the press was that GM Rob Babcock received a giant wedgie from Nets GM Rod Thorn as well.
The good news about this trade: Vince Carter ended up taking a loss on the sale of his exclusive condo on the waterfront.
The bad news was that this wasn't just a case of trading a quarter for two dimes, it was akin to leaving the keys in the ignition of your unlocked Porsche. 98-pound nerds fought harder to hold on to their lunch money. Paris Hilton put more consideration into giving up her virginity. After the trade was announced, many Native Americans exclaimed, "Whoa, now that's a bad deal!"
If you're going to so injure a franchise by making a trade such as this, why not just NOT make a trade? Let Vince continue to destroy his reputation, and then wait for perhaps something better to come along OR reap the rewards of the inevitable run-up to free agency year (coincidentally it's this year) that New Jersey will now enjoy instead?
Was this really the best offer the Raptors could get? If so, why wasn't Vince Carter at least a little embarassed by it? He was doggin' it out there and admitted as much afterwards. Was he that convincing in his indifferent play that the best offer was the one New Jersey put out there?
Have I run out of rhetorical questions? No!
Why didn't the Raptors sue Vince Carter? His inability to be a professional caused serious harm to the franchise and probably cost the Raptors a lot of money. If I purposely deleted all the information on my company's servers I think I wouldn't just be fired, I'd be liable for damages incurred. But no, Vince gets shipped off to New Jersey with his big fat contract intact and Raptors fans are left holding Alonzo Mourning's kidney.
Next time New Jersey's in town, let's ask Vince for our money back.