UPDATE: I answered some questions about the trade over at Nets are Scorching. Check it out here.
There’s been a lot of discussion about Vince Carter over the past couple of days, but let’s face it — most people around these parts are judging Carter off statistics, the national media and maybe a handful of games. Except for a select few, not many of us have actually watched Carter for a large-enough sample size to make an informed and valid evaluation.
So, who better to offer some insight than a Nets fan, who’s watched Carter play several times a week for the past four years? Sebastian Pruiti, who writes for TrueHoop’s Nets are Scorching, was kind enough to answer a few questions. Thanks to Sebastian for taking the time.
Orlando Magic Daily: How do you feel about the trade?
Sebastian Pruiti: I am sad about the trade, but it is something that had to be done. I would have liked to see the team make one final playoff push before blowing stuff up, but that is really unrealistic. If we would have waited any longer, I don’t think we would have gotten the value for Vince that we did.
I am really happy with what we got in this deal. I think Rod and Kiki did a great job exploiting (playing on if you want to be nice about it) the fears and emotions of the Magic. With all their worrying about Hedo and the Cavs getting Shaq, the Magic felt like they had to make a move, and because of that, I think Rod milked the Magic for all they were worth in this deal.
Excited to have Courtney? Absolutely. I know I have mentioned it to some friends, and maybe in some e-mail exchanges between the network, but he showed a swagger that not many rookies have (in the playoffs, no less). He seems like a perfect complement for players like Devin Harris, CDR, and now Terrence Williams.
Sad to see Vince go? Of course. I even wrote an open letter to the man! But I wasn’t THAT sad, if you know what I mean, mainly because I was bracing for this deal to happen for a real long time.
Another thing that I am disappointed about is losing Ryan Anderson. At the beginning of the year, I thought the kid was going to be a bust, but he ended up starting 30+ games as a rookie, and he played very well. He is a shooter who can spread the floor (perfect for the pick and pop), but he can also rebound, which is very surprising when you look at him. He is more athletic than you think, but he does struggle with his handle. I would like to see him develop into a solid player as a Net, but that isn’t going to happen. I am also disappointed as a blogger because there won’t be anymore Brook and Ryan Halloween videos.
OMD: Do you feel there are any misconceptions about Vince around the league?
Sebastian Pruiti: There are many misconceptions about Vince. Granted, coming out of Toronto these were all valid criticisms of VC’s game, but he changed into a completely different player in New Jersey. The mainstream Media didn’t notice because New Jersey is so under-the-radar at this point, so whenever his name comes up they just go back to the old criticisms.
Vince is fragile? False. He has only missed 11 games in 4 years. Vince is selfish? False. He had no problem taking a step back and letting Devin Harris be the focal point of our new offense last year (if he would have he would have been traded instead of Richard Jefferson, who did have a problem). Not clutch? False. Just watch the highlights from the Raptors-Nets game last year.
The one criticism that could be made is that he still settles for the jumper way too much. That has made me loony over the past 4 years, but you learn to live with it, especially on nights when he can’t miss (which are more often then you think). I also don’t think you have to worry about him being a headcase, especially because he is playing in his hometown. I don’t see him being a problem.
OMD: Do you fear the Magic more or less than you did before the trade?
Sebastian Pruiti: I do, because of both VC and Ryan Anderson. Vince is a guy who you can give the ball to and let him play. The Magic really didn’t have anything like that to my knowledge. I mean Hedo did it at times, but it seems like he would expend so much effort to get himself a shot. Ryan Anderson will be able to spread the floor for you guys in your second unit, and he fits your system very well. You can also play big. The line-up of Jameer Nelson/VC/Lewis/Anderson/Howard is pretty scary if you ask me. Mismatches everywhere.