The Hawks should consider bringing back Vince Carter

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The Hawks are a fun team to watch for several reasons. They have a rookie sensation at point guard that can pull from anywhere on the court and is already one of the premier passers in the NBA. They feature a second-year big man that is among the best dunkers in the NBA and a constant workhorse on the offensive glass. And underneath all of that, is the unbelievable resurgence of a future Hall-of-Famer, Vince Carter.

Amazingly, at 42 years old, Carter has managed to age like fine wine, putting up career-highs in his 21st season. On the year, he’s shooting 43.8% from the field, which is his best percentage since 2007-2008 with the New Jersey Nets. More astonishingly, Carter is making 41% of his shots from three-point range – the highest mark of his career, and that number continues to rise as the season goes on.

Since the All-Star break, V.C is shooting an absurd 46.7% from behind the arc. He’s also playing in over 20 minutes and averaging more than 10 points per contest.

When the Hawks decided to sign the wily-veteran, many viewed it as a rebuilding team offering a pending Hall-of-Famer an opportunity to play extended minutes. Perhaps the move would boost ticket sales based off of nostalgia and give a young Hawks team a mentor to look up to. Few, if any, expected Carter to turn back the clock and become arguably the most reliable piece off the bench.

As a result, Carter wants to play at least one more season, telling ESPN’s Pardon the Interruption a few weeks back, “Yeah, I think I could stretch it out one more … I think I could give it another year, so why not?”

When I asked him if he would like that to happen in Atlanta, Carter responded, “It doesn’t matter. I just want to play.”

The evidence is indisputable: Vince Carter has what it takes to play at least one more year in the league, if not a couple more. The question now is where he will do it?

At this point in his career, a lot more goes into it than just basketball. Is Atlanta the place where he wants to end his illustrious career, or would he instead do it somewhere that means a little more to him? What is the best situation for his family? And so on.

The Hawks will also be looking to take the next step in their rebuild, hoping to become a playoff team next season. Will they have a role for a 43-year old forward when that happens? Carter is not the type of player who is going to want to sit on the bench with limited playing time. However, it’s an opportunity the Hawks should seriously consider this offseason.

Not only has Carter been a valuable piece on the court, but his mentorship of Trae Young and John Collins has benefited the young duo, resulting in breakout years. The Hawks also have a chance to bring in two more highly-touted rookies next season, whom Carter could have a similar effect on.

Regardless of whether he ends up back in Atlanta, he’s proved to an entire city, and the NBA world for that matter, that he’s still got game. It would be an honor to see him finally decide to hang it up as a member of the Hawks organization.

 

 

 

 

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