Dallas Mavericks sign Vince Carter
Carter, who has observed the Mavericks' practices the last two days, had to wait until clearing waivers. Carter agreed to terms with the defending NBA champions Friday evening, hours after the Phoenix Suns exercised a clause in his contract to give Carter a $4 million buyout of his $18 million salary this season.
Carter's deal is for the $3 million mini-midlevel exception, the most the Mavs could offer as a team over the salary cap. It's a three-year deal with the next two seasons partially guaranteed.
The 34-year-old Carter, whose last All-Star appearance came in 2007, is no longer one of the NBA's most prolific scorers but should provide Dallas a dynamic offensive threat to complement perennial All-NBA power forward Dirk Nowitzki.
Carter, who ranks eighth among active players with 20,520 career points, averaged 17.9 points last season for the Orlando Magic and Suns.
West, 28, has started 225 games for four teams during his seven-year NBA career and can play either guard position. He was limited to 24 games for the Boston Celtics last season because of a wrist injury.
West, a full-time starter for a 66-win Cleveland team a few seasons ago, will play for the veteran's minimum. In addition to Carter, he joins 2007 eighth overall pick forward/center Brandan Wright as players to sign with Dallas since the NBA lockout was lifted. Dallas also traded for reigning Sixth Man of the Year forward Lamar Odom from the Lakers and made a draft-day deal with the Trail Blazers for swingman Rudy Fernandez.
The 6-foot-3, 180-pound West, who could become Jason Kidd's primary backup, has career averages of 9.7 points and 3.6 assists per game. He also has a reputation as a tenacious defender.
Carter could join Kidd as the Mavs' starting backcourt. They played together for two full seasons and parts of two other seasons with the New Jersey Nets.
"You talk about a veteran who understands how to play and win," Kidd said after Saturday's practice. "Athletically, he can stretch the defense, he can pass and he's a great guy. For that, he definitely fits in our mold and he can help us win."
The Mavs will introduce most of their new additions during the team's Tuesday media day. Fernandez is still in his native Spain because of visa issues, and it isn't known if West will be in Dallas by Tuesday morning.
Tim MacMahon covers the Mavericks for ESPNDallas.com.
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