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Star-Bulletin Sports

Thursday, May 4, 2000

N. B. A. _ H A W A I I

AC’s value rises
with the Heat

Carter's agent says Miami
would have to offer more than
$2 million to keep the ex-
Rainbow next season

By Pat Bigold


The Miami Heat will have to offer former University of Hawaii star Anthony Carter more than $2 million if they plan to keep him, according to his agent.

Carter, who filled in for starter Tim Hardaway at point guard and guided the Heat to a three-game sweep of the Detroit Pistons in the opening round of the NBA playoffs, becomes a free agent at the end of this season.

"There are three things he's eligible for,'' said Carter's agent, Bill Duffy.

"One is a 20 percent increase on his salary from last year, if they're over salary cap and they choose not to use one of their exceptions available. To me, that's not palatable."

Carter now makes the rookie minimum of $301,875.

"The second scenario would be the $1 million exception which is also unpalatable to me," said Duffy. "The third level is what they call the mid-level exception, and that's $2.25 million they can use on their own free agents.

"That would be the only thing I think would be fair at this point."

Though Duffy would not comment on Carter's value if he goes out to bid, he did say that he thinks the rookie could become a starter.

"He's had a heck of a year," said Duffy.

Asked if Carter's 39 percent shooting from the field would be a drawback, Duffy said that's improvable.

Sources say that Carter, who set a Heat playoff assist record with 13 in Game 2, could command close to $5 million if there's a club that badly needs a sound point guard with a lot of potential.

But Duffy said he didn't want to distract Carter from the business at hand, which is the Eastern Conference semifinal series against the New York Knicks, starting on Sunday.

"We haven't started negotiations and they're in the middle of the playoffs," said Duffy. "I would prefer not to even speak about it at this point because AC is focusing on winning.

"Technically, they (Heat) can't do anything with him until July 1 anyway. I'd rather AC not even think about it."

Starting 30 of 79 games in the regular season, Carter averaged 23.5 minutes, 6.3 points, 4.8 assists, 2.5 rebounds and 1.18 steals a game.

During the first round of the playoffs, Carter averaged 38.3 minutes, 9.3 points, 9.7 assists, 4.3 rebounds and 2.67 steals.

Carter replaced veteran guard Tim Hardaway in the Heat lineup at the start of the playoffs. Hardaway, recovering from a sprained left foot, ran at practice yesterday.

He said it's possible he could play in Sunday's game with New York.

"It's slowly coming back,'' said Hardaway.

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