Hometown: Daytona Beach, Fla.
Birthday: Jan. 26, 1977
Experience: 12 years
Draft: 1998, 5th overall by Golden State
College: North Carolina
2010-11 Salary: $17,522,375
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2010-11 Season Outlook: As the immediate replacement for Jason Richardson, Carter will be expected to be the team’s primary scoring threat. Whether or not that becomes a reality could be debated. Carter is having his worst season as a pro so far and his knee is a bit of a question mark. Conversely, Carter comes to a team that fits the fast style that made him famous, and he’ll be playing with Steve Nash, which is always a positive.
If Carter can stay healthy, which seems likely given the Suns’ training staff’s success with Grant Hill, he could be in for a more productive year than a stay in Orlando would have yielded. A boost from Nash could very well allow Carter to fill the void that Richardson’s departure left.
Carter looks to be a fit in Phoenix on the surface, but time will tell if Carter can adjust to the rigors of the Western Conference. He’ll be playing tougher opponents more often, and he’ll take on a greater responsibility within his team than he did in Orlando. It’s unlikely we’ll see the Carter that shined in New Jersey, but a return to center stage could be what he needs to crank out a couple more solid seasons. At nearly 34 years old, there isn’t a whole lot of “Vinsanity” left, but there’s certainly potential for Carter to make enough of an impact for the Suns to make the playoffs.
Biography: Vincent Lamar Carter earned his moniker as “Half-Man, Half-Amazing” from the get-go. A Daytona Beach, Fla., native, Carter shined at the high school level, earning McDonald’s All-American honors at Mainland High School. Coming before the straight-to-the-pros era, Carter committed to play at the University of North Carolina for Dean Smith in 1995. Carter played three seasons with the Tar Heels, reaching the Final Four twice and earning All-Atlantic Coast Conference and second team All-America honors as a junior before leaving early for the NBA Draft.
Carter was selected fifth overall in the 1998 NBA Draft by the Golden State Warriors, who quickly dealt him to the Toronto Raptors for Antawn Jamison. As a rookie in Toronto, Carter wasted no time in solidifying his position as one of the NBA’s premier players. Carter was the 1999 NBA Rookie of the Year, and, in his second season, Carter was selected to his first of eight consecutive All-Star games. In his first All-Star appearance (2000), Carter won the annual slam dunk contest. Carter made great strides in Toronto, averaging more than 20 points in five of six complete seasons. Carter led the Raptors to their first NBA playoffs appearance, but after six seasons, Carter became disenchanted with the team’s direction and was traded to the New Jersey Nets.
A fresh start alongside Jason Kidd proved beneficial to Carter’s career statistically, as he nearly matched career-best numbers. Carter made three playoff appearances with the Nets and enjoyed one of the best stretches of his career, but he was eventually moved again in 2009 when the Orlando Magic looked to replace the departed Hedo Turkoglu. Carter posted the second-worst statistical season of his career in Orlando, but did make his first conference finals in 2009-10.
Just 25 games into the 2010-11 NBA season, Carter was dealt on Dec. 18 to the Phoenix Suns along with Mickael Pietrus and Marcin Gortat for Richardson, Turkoglu and Earl Clark.
Links to ValleyoftheSuns coverage of Carter: