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Carter: DeRozan has 'unbelievable opportunity' with Spurs

Richard Lautens / Toronto Star / Getty

DeMar DeRozan and Vince Carter both left the Toronto Raptors on difficult terms, though under very different circumstances.

Carter forced his way out when the Raptors stopped being competitive, whereas DeRozan was blindsided with a trade to the San Antonio Spurs.

Nevertheless, Carter had some advice for his successor, urging DeRozan to seize the opportunity before him in San Antonio.

"As hurt as he is - as he should be and he's allowed to be - I also think it's another awesome opportunity for him, because it's not all the time that a situation happens like this where a player is traded into a situation where DeMar is walking into, and I think he'll take advantage of that," Carter told theScore during a conference call Thursday.

"We've seen what Gregg Popovich has done with players throughout his career, and I think it's an unbelievable opportunity for DeMar to go to the next level. He's already established himself as one of the top guards, or small forwards - whatever position he's listed at. ... You're getting an established player who he can take to the next level, and that's scary," he added.

Popovich paid special attention to DeRozan during Team USA minicamp in Las Vegas last week. The two were jovial and talkative as they went through drills. The coach and his staff carry a strong reputation for player development, and the Spurs employ the league's most respected shooting coach in Chip Engelland, who might finally unlock DeRozan's 3-point shot.

Carter said he was shocked when DeRozan was traded, adding that he deserved to finish his career in Toronto after taking the franchise to unseen heights during his nine seasons with the team.

But Carter also understood why Masai Ujiri and the Raptors took a gamble after hitting a ceiling in the playoffs.

"It's just one of those things where the organization saw it different. They wanted to take advantage of an opportunity, and who knows if it works or not. If it works, I think everyone forgets about it. If it doesn't, then it blows up in their face. That's how these things work, and it's an unfortunate situation."

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