Carter reportedly agrees to $61.8 million contract

Updated: July 3, 2007, 11:54 AM ET news services

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, sources told The Associated Press and The (Newark) Star-Ledger.

Paying For Production

Why were the Nets reportedly willing to shell out so much cash to Vince Carter? A look at the numbers tells the story.

Percent of team's points in '07
Player Pct.
Kobe Bryant, Lakers 28.7
LeBron James, Cavaliers 26.9
Vince Carter, Nets 25.9
Gilbert Arenas, Wizards 24.6
Dirk Nowitzki, Mavericks 23.4

The deal will not be official until July 11 when free-agent deals can be signed.

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 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.

Kurt Schoeppler, Carter's agent, has not returned telephone calls to his Cleveland office since the negotiations started, and he did not return a message left Sunday.

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).

The other potential free agent the Nets would like to re-sign is center Mikki Moore, who took over the starting job after Krstic was lost in December with a knee injury.

Moore averaged career-bests of 9.8 points and 5.1 rebounds while leading the league in field goal percentage at .609.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.