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Vince isn't only star on market
By BILL HARRIS -- Toronto Sun

"Superstar for sale. No reasonable offer will be refused. Operators are standing by. Free posse included!"

When the latest Vince Carter-for-Allen Iverson rumour surfaced in Philadelphia yesterday, it marked the unofficial tipoff of what could be the most tumultuous summer in NBA history, in terms of marquee players switching teams.

How much stock you put in the Carter-Iverson rumour depends upon your point of view. Several league sources pooh-poohed the notion, while others insisted a conversation has taken place between the Raptors and Philadelphia 76ers, and that there's some smoke there.

Either way, with the NBA expansion draft taking place today and the regular college draft coming up on Thursday, some major trades that involve both picks and superstars assuredly will be discussed. And even if things get pushed back past this week, players such as Carter, Iverson, Tracy McGrady, Steve Francis and Shaquille O'Neal, to name but a few, actually are on the market.

Add to that the free-agent possibilities of Kobe Bryant, Rasheed Wallace and Steve Nash, and we're looking at the prospect of a barely recognizable NBA next fall.

Maybe this is a result of the instant-gratification syndrome that has gripped North American society, but have you noticed how nobody in the sporting world has any patience anymore? And that applies to players, owners and spectators.

McGrady signs for big bucks with the Orlando Magic. Things appear to be headed in the right direction. One disastrous season? McGrady wants out.

Iverson leads the 76ers to the NBA final in 2001. Three seasons in a row of failing to reach those same heights? Maybe A.I. and the Sixers should part company.

O'Neal leads the Los Angeles Lakers to three NBA championships. Back-to-back ring-less seasons? Shaq wants out.

Kobe's tired of deferring to Shaq? Kobe wants out.

Francis and the Houston Rockets make the playoffs for the first time in five years. But Francis might not be good for Yao Ming's game. Can't we talk this over? No, Francis and the Rockets have to go their separate ways.

Carter signs a long-term deal with the Raptors, presumably securing their future. Three years in, Carter and his club have failed to meet expectations. Carter wants out.

To be fair, the Carter issue is more complicated than that.

According to league sources, Carter quietly has demanded a trade. The demand was made through Carter's representatives, although Carter likely reiterated his position personally when he accidentally ran into new Raptors general manager Rob Babcock at the Air Canada Centre last week.

Carter has nothing personal against Babcock. However, the Carter camp has concluded that as long as the ownership and boardroom structure at Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment Ltd., remains intact, the Raptors never will be among the NBA's elite. Of course, some members of the Raptors hierarchy believe that as long as Carter is the go-to guy, the team never will be among the NBA's elite..

Looking at things objectively, both Carter and the Raptors could benefit from a change. And the fact is, with all the disgruntled, high-salaried, flawed superstars available to be shuffled around the league, trading Carter is far more viable right now than it ever has been.

So what should Raptors fans do in the meantime?

Well, don't forget to buy your tickets for the Vince Carter charity game on July 30. If it has to be renamed the Allen Iverson charity game, then so be it.









Do you like the new-look Raptors heading into the 2013-14 NBA season?
  Yes, new GM made great moves
  No, they will still be a terrible team
  Unsure what to make of it


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