Since 2018, Anthony Carter has served as the player development coach for the Miami Heat. But his relationship with the team dates back more than two decades, when he began his NBA career with the Heat in 1999. Meanwhile, he played a role in changing the franchise’s fate forever.
No, Carter was not a superstar in Miami as were Dwayne Wade and LeBron James. But without them, the Heat may not have three championships today.
Let’s go back to the 2002-03 season. Carter, who was 27 at the time, wanted to exercise his player option to stay in Miami. Carter averaged 4.1 points while shooting Abislam 35.6% (and three to zero percent) before the season.
The $ 4.1 million option was an obvious choice. There was only one problem: Carter’s agent, Bill Duffy, missed the June 30 deadline to tell Heat Carter plans to return.
Instead of receiving his $ 4.1 million, Carter became a free agent. He signed a minimum contract with the San Antonio Spurs, costing approximately $ 750,000. On the plus, Carter played in only five games before the Spurs waived him – $ 150,000 per game salary is very good.
Still, Carter missed a big play. To make things right, Duffy offered Carter $ 3 million from his pocket. The two agreed to a repayment schedule, and Duffy gave the final payment in late 2020.
Despite the blunders, Carter remains in a good position with Duffy, saying he understands that sometimes things happen. And Duffy is still an agent today, representing many NBA players including Luca Doncic, Goran Dragic and Rajon Rondo. In fact, he likely benefited from his assignments, with other players and coaches watching him trying to fix things.
With Carter no longer in the Miami books, Heat president Pat Riley suddenly had additional cap space. He used it to sign Lamar Odom away from the Los Angeles Clippers. The following season, in 2004, Odom was traded – along with Caron Butler and Brian Grant – to Shaquille O’Neal to the Los Angeles Lakers.
Two years after that trade, O’Neill and Wade led the Heat to their first championship in franchise history. If you support the Butterfly Effect, James would never have signed with the Heat in 2010 if he hadn’t won a title a few years earlier.
This is certainly an interesting fantasy. And it took nearly 20 years, but Carter finally got his money.