3. June 25, 2009: Vince Carter and Ryan Anderson to the Orlando Magic Rafer Alston, Courtney Lee and Tony Battie
In full-on "gut salary to make a play at Lebron James" mode, the Nets shipped Vince Carter and the two years remaining on his contract along with Ryan Anderson to Orlando for Courtney Lee and the expiring contracts of Rafer Alston and Tony Battie on Draft Day 09. Trading Vince wasn’t the wrong thing; the Nets were in rebuilding mode in the post-Kidd era, and Vinsanity was a player in decline with a bloated contract. While Lebron eventually took his talents to South Beach, the Nets needed to at least take a stab at the Cavs forward.
But the Nets got nada in return for a still serviceable eight-time All-Star. Zip. Zilch. Alston aka Skip 2 my Lou was there as an expiring contract, but he was expected to at least show up for his checks. The New York native and playground legend shot a putrid 34% from the field while posting a 8.7 PER, good enough to get his contract bought out just 27 games into the worst season in franchise history. Courtney Lee was the one value piece for the Nets in the trade, after a decent rookie campaign in which he started 42 games for the Eastern Conference Champion Magic. But Lee is a cog in the wheel, not what makes it turn, and he was asked to do much for a bad team. The Nets ended up 12-70 and exposing the world to Kiki Vandeweghe as a coach. And to top it off, they didn’t even get the first, or second, pick in the 2010 draft for their troubles.
The real kicker in the trade was giving up Anderson. The 6’10” forward out of Cal would go on to develop alongside Dwight Howard, and ended up as the leading 3-point shooter in the NBA in 2012, earning him the league’s Most Improved Player award. Finally, Courtney Lee was turned into walking stiff Troy Murphy, who played just 18 games for the Nets in 2010-11 and averaged a career low 3.6 PPG before succumbing to a back injury.
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