Anthony Carter is still paid yearly by his agent, 13 years after a contract mishap

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Anthony Carter drives on Baron Davis. (Getty Images)
Anthony Carter drives on Baron Davis. (Getty Images)

Anthony Carter played his final NBA game on Leap Year Day in 2012. Then a member of the Toronto Raptors, Carter missed his lone shot attempt in ten seconds of play in an 11-point Raps win over the then-New Orleans Hornets.

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Carter made over $1.35 million that season, his 12th in the NBA, in a career that saw him play for six different NBA teams. According to BasketballReference.com, Carter made over $17.1 million in his NBA career, but he is perhaps best known as the guy that superagent Bill Duffy accidentally denied $4.1 million to in 2003, when Duffy failed to follow through on the paperwork needed for Carter to pick up his player option for the 2003-04 season.

Without the Heat gig, Carter went on to play just five injury-plagued games that year with the San Antonio Spurs for the league minimum. No matter, though, as Duffy apparently followed through on his commitment to pay the veteran point guard all the money he inadvertently denied him. From Manny Navarro at the Miami Herald:

As for the infamous mistake Carter’s agent Bill Duffy made back in 2003 that cost him more than $3 million, Carter said it’s all ancient history. Duffy agreed to make it up to him years ago and has kept his word, paying him in installments over the years.

“In the end it was a blessing,” Carter said. “I’m still getting paid from it. Everything happens for a reason and my agent was man enough to stand up and just pay me over a period of time. To this day, I’m still getting paid. I’m still getting paid until 2020.”

Carter made his hay, after a year spent in the long-defunct CBA, by acting as the Heat’s chief backup and sometimes-starter at point guard, with the gimpy-but-game Tim Hardaway leading the show ahead of him. He’s most famous for hitting a game-winner over the New York Knicks in Game 3 of the 2000 Eastern Conference semis on a running jumper that, as the shot went over the rear of the backboard, should not have counted.

Anthony Carter nails the runner, in 2000. (Getty Images)
Anthony Carter nails the runner, in 2000. (Getty Images)

One of the league’s more prominent reserves, due to the preponderance of nationally-televised Heat games, Carter signed a three-year, $12 million deal with Miami in 2001 after two seasons of averaging 6.4 points and 4.3 assists per game.

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He shot just 35 percent for the Heat in 2002-03, though, on a team that badly missed the playoffs. President Pat Riley was desperately looking to upgrade his roster after two years spent in the lottery (acquiring Caron Butler and Dwyane Wade through those drafts), and Bill Duffy’s $4.1 million misstep allowed for major cap space in Miami even with Eddie Jones and Brain Grant making maximum salaries under the league’s $43 million salary cap.

With the new room, the Heat signed Lamar Odom to a six-year, $65 million agreement as a restricted free agent contract that the Los Angeles Clippers deemed too dear. Behind Wade and Odom, the team went on to make the playoffs that year. Odom, Grant and Butler were later used in the trade package needed to deal for Shaquille O’Neal, who worked with Wade to bring Miami its first championship in 2006.

Carter, meanwhile, signed with the 2003 champion San Antonio Spurs in the space that Jason Kidd nearly occupied. A sweet deal, one would think, until you point out that Anthony played just 87 minutes that season at the league minimum before a nagging left knee injury forced the Spurs to waive the point man; putting his career in jeopardy after both a limited (that 35.6 percent shooting, in 2002-03) and limping last two seasons.

Still, that was $751,179 for just 87 minutes of work, and Carter rebounded forcefully with the Minnesota Timberwolves the next season and in 2005-06. Anthony then spent a year playing in Italy before becoming a surprise starter, in 67 out of 70 games played, for a 50-win Denver Nuggets team in 2007-08.

He went on to play with the Knicks, to much acclaim, before ending his NBA career in 2012 with Toronto.

Carter, who was an assistant coach with the Sacramento Kings last season, has been hired by the Heat to help run the team’s Sioux Falls Skyforce NBDL affiliate. It’s a nice turnaround for the Miami franchise, who never really wanted to lose Carter in the first place, but could not turn down the chance at adding $4.1 million in unexpected salary cap space to its coffers.

If agent Bill Duffy equally chopped up the $4.1 million owed to Carter between 2003 and 2020, the representative would be on the hook for $241,176 per year; a not-unsubstantial amount for both the agent and former player.

It’s a warming way to end one of the forgotten quirks in recent NBA history.

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Kelly Dwyer is an editor for Ball Don’t Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at KDonhoops@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!