May 24, 2011, 4:48 PM EDT
Vince Carter will be a free agent this summer. Well, unless you think the Suns want to pay $18.3 million a year next year for a 35-year-old who gave them 13.5 points per game on 42.2 percent shooting.
But Carter isn’t done. Or doesn’t want to be.
He tells the Orlando Sentinel he wants to play 15 years in the league, which would be two more after this one.
“I’ve never been a person to put a cap on my ability or my career. I’m just gonna play it as it goes,” Vince Carter said. “I still plan on playing 15 years, that’s been my goal since Day 1 and I’m gonna try to accomplish that.”
It would be easy to just make a bunch of jokes at Carter’s expense here, but that would not be fair for a couple of reasons. One, he was once one of the best and most dynamic players in the game.
The second thing is Carter has not been a bad player the last couple years, the problem is the expectations. Fans, team officials still seem to expect the Vince Carter circa 2005 who can take over games and be a key cog thanks to his athleticism. That guy is gone.
But Vince Carter the guy off the bench who can give you 15 solid veteran minutes a night? That guy is alive and well if he can accept the role. Carter had a PER of 14.8 two seasons ago and 14.2 last season after he was traded to the Suns, basically just a hair below the league average. Look at his shooting percentages and everything else and you see the same. He’s not a lock down defender, but off the bench he can play a scoring role. If he can accept that role, he can be a useful guy off the bench for a good team. He can hit the three, he can make some smart plays.
He can play another two years. He should. Just don’t expect Carter circa 2005.
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