PHOENIX – The New Jersey Nets and Dallas Mavericks have discussed a trade that would reunite Vince Carter and Jason Kidd, with Carter joining the Mavericks, a league source familiar with the discussions said Thursday night.
Nets executives are still reluctant to trade Carter, but are determined to let teams make their best offers all the way to next Thursday’s trade deadline.
The Mavericks have lost guard Jason Terry to a broken hand and desperately need perimeter scoring to stay a contender in the Western Conference. The Nets’ and Mavericks’ front offices engineered the Jason Kidd-Devin Harris blockbuster at the trade deadline a year ago. Nets GM Kiki Vandeweghe and Mavs GM Donnie Nelson have been active trading proposals, league sources say.
Carter, 31, has inspired significant interest throughout the league. The San Antonio Spurs are pursuing him and have discussed a proposal that would include Roger Mason, Bruce Bowen and Fabricio Oberto. While the Spurs also have interest in Detroit’s Rasheed Wallace, a Pistons source says the teams have not had any conversations.
For the Nets, the motivation to move Carter is mostly financial. The franchise is losing tens of millions of dollars a year and moving Carter would clear more cap space for 2010. Nevertheless, Nets president Rod Thorn wants to make the playoffs and believes he has his best chance with Carter on the roster. Carter is in the second season of a five-year extension that pays him close to $80 million through 2012. Only a fraction of the contract’s final season is guaranteed.
Carter is having a good season, averaging 21 points, five rebounds and five assists. The Nets are 24-29 and one game out of the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.