Why a trade is tough to deal with ...

Bill Harris -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 7:14 AM ET

Trading someone such as Vince Carter isn't easy, and not only because his value has diminished during the past couple of seasons. NBA salary-cap and trading regulations complicate matters even further. For example: - Wouldn't it be great if the rebuilding Raptors could trade Carter for three first-round draft choices and a couple of prospects? Can't do it. Total salaries of players traded between two teams must match, plus or minus 15%. Carter will earn about $12.5 million US this season, so the Raptors have to take back about that much salary in any transaction.

- Many of the players in Carter's general salary neighbourhood who were on the block this off-season (Tracy McGrady, Steve Francis, Antoine Walker) already have been traded. League rules prohibit them from being dealt again for several months.

- The Raptors could say to Carter, "You aren't going anywhere, so take a seat on the bench and get back to us when you feel like being a man." But Carter is taking up almost 30% of the Raptors' salary-cap space. They can't afford to have that much money tied up in someone who's idle. He's Vince Carter, not Yogi Stewart.


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