TORONTO -- Vince Carter, deciding there was no sense leaving a city where he is so comfortable, agreed on Wednesday to a six-year contract extension worth approximately $94 million.
The announcement came on Vince Carter Day, as decreed by Toronto Mayor Mel Lastman.
''I'd hate to take the chance to move elsewhere, and it's not like here where I feel loved and supported,'' said Carter, who led the Raptors to a seventh game in the Eastern Conference semifinals last season. ''You never know if it's greener on the other side.''
With one year left on his existing deal, the extension should keep Carter in the city he said feels like home until he is 31.
''I feel comfortable here,'' Carter said. ''It's like home. I think Dorothy said there's no place like home, and when I come here that's what I feel like.''
Before dealing with Carter, Raptors general manager Glen Grunwald signed three key free agents -- Antonio Davis, Jerome Williams and Alvin Williams -- to long-term contracts, spending more than $140 million on the trio.
''That was big for me and for this organization because I believe if you want to build a dynasty ... you have to keep a club there for more than one or two years if you're going to have a chance of winning a championship,'' Carter said.
''This is a start for us. We've built something special last year by making it to Game 7 in the second round.''
Rockets owner says Olajuwon to be traded to Raptors
HOUSTON -- The Houston Rockets have agreed to sign and trade longtime star center Hakeem Olajuwon to the Toronto Raptors for two draft picks, team owner Les Alexander said Wednesday.
''Hakeem's decision is disappointing for the entire Rockets organization,'' Alexander said. ''Hakeem Olajuwon has meant more to this franchise and this city than any other athlete in Houston history.
''We desperately wanted to keep him in a Rockets uniform for the remainder of his career and made every attempt to do so. It is with a heavy heart that we have agreed to his request.''
Alexander, in an interview with Houston television station KRIV, said the Rockets will get a first-round pick and a second-round pick from Toronto.
Earlier in the day, Olajuwon reportedly called off talks with the Rockets after rejecting the club's latest offer of $13 million guaranteed over three years.
''Hakeem Olajuwon has been the most influential person in my basketball career,'' Rockets coach Rudy Tomjanovich said. ''He's the guy behind my success. We've had a tremendous association and success. The city, the Rockets and my family owe him a debt of gratitude.''
Tomjanovich appeared somber and didn't try to hide his emotions.
''When I talked to Dream we had a positive conversation,'' Tomjanovich said. ''Dream is a champion and he has come up with a situation where he feels he can go for another ring.
''He explained that to me and even though it's a loss, to see him go for another ring, I have to respect that and give my blessing.''
Olajuwon led the Rockets to back-to-back NBA championships in 1994 and 1995.
''I hope he gets a chance for another championship and I hope it's against us,'' Tomjanovich said.
Magic trade rights to Haywood to Wizards for Profit, draft pick
ORLANDO, Fla. -- The Orlando Magic acquired guard Laron Profit and a future first-round draft pick from the Washington Wizards on Wednesday in exchange for the draft rights to center Brendan Haywood.
Haywood, the 20th overall pick in this year's draft, was acquired from Cleveland in exchange for center Michael Doleac.
The 7-foot Haywood spent four seasons at North Carolina, averaging 10 points, six rebounds and 2.2 blocks in 141 career games.
''We still believe he's going to be a nice player in this league,'' Magic general manager John Gabriel said. ''But with our success in the free-agent market, both in signing back our players and acquiring free agents, there's kind of a logjam.''
In the offseason, the Magic signed Patrick Ewing and Horace Grant to free-agent deals while also convincing Andrew DeClercq and Don Reid to return. Orlando also drafted 7-footer Steven Hunter with the 15th pick.
Haywood's addition to the Wizards' roster give the team depth in the post as it breaks in 19-year-old Kwame Brown, the No. 1 overall pick this year.
The 6-foot-4 Profit appeared in 35 games for the Wizards last year, averaging 4.3 points and 2.5 assists. He started the season's final 12 games, averaging 9.7 points, 5.8 assists and 3.9 rebounds during that span.
Profit had been working out this offseason with Wizards president Michael Jordan during the team's mini-camp.
Orlando selected Profit in the second round of the 1999 draft, but later traded him to Washington for a future second-round pick.
The Magic can take Washington's draft pick beginning in 2004, but the Wizards can keep the pick if it is among the first 20. The next season, it is protected through No. 13, and in 2006 it is protected only through the first three spots. If Orlando waits until 2007, the pick would be unconditional.
Orlando now has eight potential first-round draft selections during the next four years. The Magic have their own first-round pick for the next four drafts, and is also owed first-round picks from Phoenix, Sacramento and the Los Angeles Clippers.
Peninsula Clarion ©2014. All Rights Reserved.