With the Nets clearing room to acquire LeBron James in 2010, it is only a matter of time before Vince Carter is shipped out of the swap. The question is, where will he end up? There aren't a lot of teams that will be willing to take on his huge contract and even fewer that will be able to offer up anything of value in return. But seeing as all Richard Jefferson brought back was a project (Yi Jianlian), maybe the asking price won't be as much as many would expect. Still, the key to any deal is a contract or contracts that run less than two years and a good-to-great young prospect whose rookie contract doesn't end before 2010.
As for the Celtics, a Ray Allen for Vince Carter deal is somewhat interesting but we don't really have any young prospects to offer. Also, if I'm shaking up the chemistry and dealing Ray Allen, I'd rather do it to get a little younger. Vince is a better talent than Ray but I'm not sure he's a better fit.
The 11 most likely destinations seem to be:
1. Portland Trailblazers: This is Portland's deal to turn down. They have Raef Lafrentz's expiring deal and a boatload of young talent to offer up. Vince could play the 3 and give the Blazers a legitimate shot to win the West alongside Jerryd Bayless, Brandon Roy, LaMarcus Aldridge, and Greg Oden.
2. Detroit: The Pistons could deal Rip Hamilton and Amir Johnson for Vince. The Pistons add a star player to team with Rodney Stuckey and Tayshaun Prince (should he not get dealt) while the Nets put together a Devin Harris/Rip Hamilton backcourt which should be very appealing to LeBron.
3. Denver: Marcus Camby and a sign & trade of J.R. Smith (4 years, around 16 million) would cover the cost of Vince. The Nets get a big man who'll be a valuable trade chip next season as both a player and an expiring deal as well as a promising and cheap 2-guard prospect to team with LeBron. With a backcourt of Iverson, Carter, and 'Melo, maybe the Nuggets won't have to ever improve their defense.
4. Philadelphia 76ers: The Sixers have cap space and could give the Nets immediately relief but I'm not sure they would be interested in Vince. They, like the Sonics, might rather stick with their young core rather than add an aging swingman. If the Sixers are going to make a run at a veteran, I'd bet on Elton Brand.5. Chicago: Larry Hughes has the kind of contract the Nets would like but who else would come over in the deal? Would the Nets really be interested in Ty Thomas after already getting Yi Jianlian? Would Joakim Noah and future picks be enough?
6. Washington: The Wiz could package Antonio Daniels and Etan Thomas along with youngster Nick Young and Oleksiy Pecherov in order to get Vince. I just don't know if Young and Pecherov are nearly enough to make the deal worthwhile. Adding more picks doesn't help any because I can't imagine a squad with Agent Zero, Vince, Caron Butler, and Antawn Jamison wouldn't be one of the best teams in the league. (Although it would also put Washington way over the luxury tax)
7. Minnesota Timberwolves: Like the Sixers, I can't imagine the Wolves are that interested in adding Vince (and I can't imagine that he has any interest in going to Minnesota) but a deal of Mike Miller, Brian Cardinal and Corey Brewer for Vince and fodder (Mo Ager or Josh Boone) would work.
9. Golden State Warriors: The Warriors could make an offer but since they're already trying to re-sign Monta Ellis and Andris Biedrins, I can't imagine they are looking to add a huge contract like Vince.
10. Sacramento Kings: The Kings could offer contracts (Kenny Thomas and Shareef Abdur-Rahim) and Spencer Hawes. They could have sweetened the deal on draft day by adding their pick but I don't think Jason Thompson is going to interest Rod Thorn. Of course, they already have Ron Artest and Kevin Martin so I'm not sure they'd be interested.
11. New York Knicks: The Knicks have Stephen Marbury's expiring contract as well as David Lee and Danilo Gallinari so anything is possible. The question is whether or not they too are in a cap clearing state of mind, hoping to land LeBron or if D'Antoni just wants to add talent now.