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Ten Years After, Raptors look back at Vince Carter trade

The Star-Ledger-USA TODAY Sports

It came out of nowhere on a Friday afternoon.  The Raptors had traded Vince Carter to the Nets for what became known as trinkets and baubles: Alonzo Mourning, who had yet to have his kidney transplant surgery; Eric Williams and Aaron Williams, neither of whom were critical to the Nets present or future and two draft picks who turned into Joey Graham and Renaldo Balkman, the latter having been sent to the Knicks along with Jalen Rose in a later salary dump.

Carter was sulking in Toronto, had even gotten into a physical altercation with Sam Mitchell. He was averaging 15,3 points per game and his reputation was in desperate need of rehab. The Nets on the other hand were a mess. Jason Kidd had just returned from microfracture surgery. Getting to the playoffs would be a monumental challenge.

On Wednesday night, the 10th anniversary of the trade, the Nets and Raptors took to the court and Ryan Wolstat of the Toronto Sun commemorated the event in a column... saying it is "widely regarded as one of the most lopsided deals in NBA history."  He notes...

Carter went on to play some great basketball for the Nets (he is the all-time franchise leader in points per game), including one season that was perhaps better than any of his great Toronto campaigns, while the Raptors franchise completely sunk and has never again had a player of Carter’s calibre.

It took a while to recover and a player on the Raptors that next season told Wolstat about the void it created, a feeling of being overshadowed by the past.

"When Vince burst on the scene, so fast and had so much notoriety, he was just the face of Canada so to speak, not even necessarily Toronto," Jarrett  Jack said. "And he was such a huge superstar that it was tough for anybody to come behind him and follow his shoes."

The Raptors honored Carter last month.  The Nets never have.