The New Jersey Nets and Toronto Raptors are in serious talks about a trade that would send Vince Carter to the Nets, several league sources told ESPN.com on Friday.
The Raptors would acquire Alonzo Mourning, Eric Williams, Aaron Williams and two first round draft picks in exchange for Carter. According to those same sources, the talks have moved to the point that they could be finalized before the end of the day.
All trades must be approved by the league office and players must pass physicals before they can become official. Carter is currently on the injured list with a strained left Achilles' tendon suffered last Friday and is to miss at least five games.
If the trade goes through, it would be the most serious indication yet that the Nets want to keep Jason Kidd and are willing to build a championship contender around him. After the offseason trades of Kenyon Martin and Kerry Kittles, Kidd expressed his displeasure with the direction the Nets were taking. However, with Carter on board, the Nets have a shot at moving back into contention.
According to one source, Kidd was briefed on the trade and thinks Carter will be a strong addition to the team.
A backcourt of Kidd, Carter and Richard Jefferson is a highlight reel waiting to happen. However the Nets will be very thin up front. After the trade, the Nets would have just Jason Collins, Brian Scalabrine and rookie Nenad Kristic to play on the front line. The move has more interesting implications for the Raptors. Both Aaron and Eric Williams are the type of players that Sam Mitchell is after. They are tough, blue collar guys who will play their hearts out. Mourning gives them some size at the five that they desperately need. However, it will be interesting to see how Mourning reacts to the trade.
He's been asking out of New Jersey all season because he wants to play for a contender. Whatever you think about this trade for Toronto, it's tough to say that it turns them into a playoff caliber team. Instead, the Raptors are trying to surround their star young player, Chris Bosh, with solid, veteran players who play the right way. The two first round picks should help them rebuild.
The Nets currently have in hand their own first round pick, the Sixers first round pick (top 8 protected) and the Clippers first rounder (top 14 protected). It wasn't clear immediately which picks would be headed to Toronto in the trade.