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Magic acquires Vince Carter from the Nets

Orlando, which also receives Ryan Anderson, gives up Rafer Alston, Courtney Lee and Tony Battie.

June 26, 2009|Associated Press

Vince Carter is going home to Orlando, and to the Eastern Conference champion Magic.

The New Jersey Nets dealt the eight-time NBA All-Star, who grew up in Daytona Beach, Fla., and lives in Orlando, and forward Ryan Anderson to the Magic on Thursday for point guard Rafer Alston, shooting guard Courtney Lee and power forward Tony Battie.

The trade gives the Magic another star in a lineup that already includes Dwight Howard and Rashard Lewis. The deal might also persuade Hedo Turkoglu, who can opt out of his contract and become a free agent on July 1, to remain with the Magic.

Orlando is hoping Carter, who has averaged 23.5 points over a 10-year pro career, will provide center Howard with a perimeter scorer who can create his own shot -- something the Magic lacked in losing the NBA Finals to the Lakers.

"Vince gives us a veteran, go-to scoring presence, especially at the end of games," Orlando General Manager Otis Smith said in a statement. "Our goal remains the same -- to win a championship. Any time you can add an All-Star to help you reach your goals, you have to do it."

Carter found out about the trade at his basketball camp, adding that he thought it was a joke at first.

"Every player hopes for an opportunity like this, to just once compete for an NBA championship," Carter said. "This is a dream come true for me. Now I have a chance to win a championship."

Shaq deal done

The Cleveland Cavaliers completed their trade for center Shaquille O'Neal, acquiring the 37-year-old center from the Phoenix Suns for center Ben Wallace, swingman Sasha Pavlovic, a second-round pick in the 2010 draft and cash.

"I was elated about the trade because I get to play with one of the greatest players to ever play the game in LeBron James," O'Neal said during ESPN's draft telecast. He expects "a lot of fun, a lot of just having a good time and a lot of smiling, and a lot of winning."

James, the league's most valuable player last season, was excited to add O'Neal, a 15-time All-Star, to the Cavaliers' roster.

"Shaq is an incredible ballplayer and a four-time NBA champion," James said in a statement sent to the Associated Press. "I have a lot of respect for him and his game."

O'Neal won three championships with the Lakers (2000 to 2002) and one with the Miami Heat (2006).

Crawford a Hawk

The Atlanta Hawks acquired guard Jamal Crawford from the Golden State Warriors for guards Acie Law and Speedy Claxton.

Crawford, who had his differences with Golden State Coach Don Nelson, provides the Hawks with depth and flexibility in the backcourt. Starting point guard Mike Bibby and backup combo guard Flip Murray are both unrestricted free agents.

The deal was completed after Crawford signed paperwork indicating he won't opt out of his contract and become a free agent. He is due to make nearly $20 million the next two years.

Knicks moves

The New York Knicks traded veteran swingman Quentin Richardson and cash to the Memphis Grizzlies for center Darko Milicic.

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