TRENTON, N.J. – Vince Carter and the New Jersey Nets have the framework in place for a four-year contract that guarantees the all-star more than $60 million, according to a person with knowledge of the deal.
Word of the deal came Sunday, though the person spoke on condition of anonymity because under league rules the agreement can not be announced until July 11, the first day free agents can sign.
A day earlier, the Nets announced Carter had opted out of the final year of a contract that would’ve paid him $16.3 million next season. Team officials, though, had said they were optimistic the 30-year-old swingman, who will be entering his 10th season, would return to New Jersey.
Since the playoffs ended, Carter has been practicing at the team’s facility in East Rutherford, and he also had invited teammate Nenad Krstic to visit his Orlando, Fla., home this week to practice together. And Bruce Ratner, the team’s owner, has been a strong supporter of Carter and has said he wanted him re-signed.
Carter and the Nets had been talking about a contract for the past month.
Gary Sussman, a team spokesman, did not immediately return a message left Sunday night seeking details of the agreement. However, The Star-Ledger of Newark reported on its Web site Sunday that the deal guarantees Carter $61.8 million over four seasons, with the team holding an option for a fifth year.
Carter averaged team highs of 25.2 points in the regular season and 22.3 for the postseason. However, he shot less than 40 percent from the field during the playoffs and made several big mistakes.
Carter turned the ball over in the closing seconds of Game 4 of the Eastern Conference semifinal against Cleveland with the Nets down two points and 2-1 in the series. He also was somewhat of a no-show for the deciding Game 6, scoring 11 points while having more turnovers (five) than baskets (four).
Lewis in high demand
SEATTLE – Rashard Lewis found out quickly Sunday just how coveted he is in the NBA free-agent marketplace.
Lewis’ agent, Tony Dutt, said 20 teams contacted him in some form by late Sunday morning regarding the 6-foot-10 forward, who opted out of the final two years of his contract with the Seattle SuperSonics to become a free agent.
But it was the Sonics, the only team Lewis has played for, that got the first chance to meet with Lewis. New general manger Sam Presti led a Seattle contingent that had talks with Lewis and Dutt on Sunday in Houston.