Don’t look now, but the start of The Association is less than three months away, and Vince Carter still doesn’t have a home.
His mindset hasn’t changed since the end of the season. Carter wants to play one more year, and he doesn’t want to just take up a roster spot. He wants to be on the court.
The 42-year-old was remarkably productive for Atlanta in a reserve role, especially in the second half of the season. He shot 38.9% from three on the year and averaged 7.4 points in 76 games. It was his best season since 2013-2014 with the Dallas Mavericks when he was 37.
Beyond his play on the court, Carter brings unprecedented veteran experience and a desire to help the younger generation.
When asked if he would like to see Vince Carter return to the Hawks, John Collins responded, “Hell yeah.” Carter was also a key figure in helping Trae Young through his rookie woes early last year and could be even more helpful to first-year wings – Cam Reddish and De’Andre Hunter.
However, those two top draft picks are also the primary reason Carter will not be returning to Atlanta. He wants to play, and the Hawks will be more inclined to give their youth minutes regardless of who is more productive on the court. In Atlanta, it will be nearly impossible for Carter to see the floor, which is why he is holding out for a better opportunity.
I expect he will find it somewhere. There has to be a rebuilding team that will value him as a mentor and a player. But if he doesn’t, Chris Kirschner of The Athletic reported the Hawks are holding open a roster spot in hopes he will return.
.@ChrisKirschner on Vince Carter's future and the Hawks' waiting gamehttps://t.co/dQFoZzXsuY pic.twitter.com/UeQ8adcCNo
— The Athletic Atlanta (@TheAthleticATL) August 2, 2019
There is nobody in the organization or the city of Atlanta that should not be wishing for a second year of Vince Carter. He will once again bring invaluable experience to what is currently the youngest team in basketball. I don’t think the odds are in our favor, but until he signs with someone else, we have a glimmer of hope.