Vince Carter (born January 26, 1977 in Daytona Beach, Florida) was signed as a free agent by the Dallas Mavericks on December 12, 2011.
Carter, a McDonald’s All-American in High School, attended the University of North Carolina where he helped lead the Tar Heels to two NCAA National Championships. In his three seasons at Chapel Hill, his scoring and rebounding averages rose all three seasons. His junior year, his last at UNC, Carter averaged 15.6 points and 5.1 rebounds per game.
Declaring himself an early entry candidate for the 1998 NBA draft, the 6’7 swingman was taken in the first round by the Golden State Warriors but traded to Toronto almost immediately for former North Carolina teammate Antawn Jamison.
His rookie season with the Raptors, Carter saw action in 50 games averaging 18.3 points-per-game on his way to being named the 1999 NBA Rookie-of-the-Year. The following year his production rose to 25.7 ppg as he saw action in all 82 of Toronto’s games, his first of six consecutive all-star appearances and a trip to the playoffs. He also won the Slam Dunk contest during NBA All-Star weekend.
During the offseason he helped the USA capture the Gold Medal at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia.
2000-2001 saw Carter average a career-high of 26.7 points over 75 games with another trip to the NBA playoffs. Over the next three and a half seasons, he remained a Toronto fan favorite and the team’s biggest threat on the court. His stint with the Raptors ended on December 17, 2004 when he was traded to the New Jersey Nets for Alonzo Mourning, Aaron Williams, Eric Williams and two first round draft choices.
Carter played with the Nets for four seasons, teaming with future Mav teammate Jason Kidd during the first two of those seasons as he made the NBA Eastern All-Star team both years and helped lead New Jersey to the playoffs. Individually he had typical Vince Carter seasons averaging 24.2 points in 2005-2006 and 25.2 points in 2006-2007.
It was at that point in his career when Carter’s numbers began a slide that would carry over the next four years. He played two more seasons with New Jersey, where he finished with scoring averages of 21.3 and 20.8 respectively. Following the 2008-2009 campaign, Carter was moved to the Orlando Magic, along with Ryan Anderson for Rafer Alston, Tony Battie and Courtney Lee.
Playing back in his native Florida, even though his scoring slipped to 16.6 ppg, he helped the Magic to the playoffs and quickly became a fan favorite. He saw action in 75 games (74 starts) and led (or tied) the Magic in scoring 24 times.
Despite his favored status among Orlando fans, Carter played in only 22 games in 2010-2011 before being traded on December 18, 2010, along with Marcin Gortat, Mickael Pietrus, a first round draft pick and three million dollars, to the Phoenix Suns for Hedo Turkoglu, Jason Richardson and Earl Clark.
Carter saw action in 51 games for Phoenix averaging 13.5 points. He was waived shortly before the 2010-2011 season and signed a free agent contract with Dallas.
Always heavily involved in the community, Carter was named Child Advocate of the Year by the Children’s Home Society in 2000 and received the Florida Governor’s Points of Light Award in 2007 for philanthropy in his home state. He was also named one of The Sporting News’ “Good Guys in Sports” in 2004 and received the NBA Community Assist Award in July of 2005.