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Known in his early days as a superstar in the NBA, Vince Carter held nicknames such as ‘Vinsanity’, ‘Air Canada’, or ‘Half-Man, Half-Amazing’. Carter took the league by storm after coming out of University of North Carolina and securing the Rookie of the Year award during the 1998-99 season. The following year, Carter earned a title at the 2000 Slam Dunk Contest. The veteran spent the next decade averaging over 20 points per game, earning 8 All-Star nods (7 games played), an Olympic Gold Medal, and 2 All-NBA team nominations along the way.
Nagging injuries plagued Carter by the time he reached Orlando in 2009. The fascinating part about Carter’s game is that he never forced teams to make him the primary option. His role changed in 2011 with the Dallas Mavericks, where Carter came off the bench as a sixth man and still made an impact. After announcing his return for his NBA record 22nd season, Vince Carter will surpass Kevin Willis, Dirk Nowitzki, and Kevin Garnett for the most seasons played. Here are the likeliest destinations for Carter next season:
5. Milwaukee Bucks:
The style of offense Mike Budenzholzer instills is a nice fit for Carter’s game. The Milwaukee Bucks took 38.2 threes per game during the regular season and made 13.5 per contest. With Tony Snell, Nikola Mirotic, and George Hill becoming free agents at the end of the year, there may be room for Carter to join the roster. Already within the Eastern Conference Finals, Carter would certainly have a fair shake at earning himself a title before the end of his career.
4. Atlanta Hawks:
Vince Carter was asked in a recent interview about returning to Atlanta to mentor the younger players. The Hawks won nearly half their games after a brutal 29-game stretch to start the year. Carter is coming off a season where he averaged 7.4 points on 17.5 minutes. He currently sits 23rd on the all-time points scored list with 25,430. In order to pass Kevin Garnett en route to the top 20, Carter would need to average roughly 8 points per game to close out his career.
3. Houston Rockets:
The Houston Rockets are in a position to secure an NBA title, but are missing an edge to hold over the Golden State Warriors. Win or lose, their 3-point style fits Carter’s style of play perfectly. He is coming off a season in which he took a little over 4 three-point attempts per game and shot nearly 40%. The future Hall of Famer sits sixth all-time with 2,229 made three-point shots; 53 short of Jason Terry.
2. Golden State Warriors:
This is an obvious choice, as the Golden State Warriors are close to securing their fourth NBA Championship in the last five years. Vince Carter could come off the bench alongside Andre Iguodala, Shaun Livingston, and others to add more firepower to a bench that lacks it. If Carter is looking to secure a title before his career ends, this is essentially a shortcut.
1. Toronto Raptors
The fans who booed Vince Carter 15 seasons ago after he was traded to the then-New Jersey Nets gave him a video tribute in 2014. As recently as 18 months ago, Carter received a standing ovation when playing against his former team. In a previous interview, Carter stated the following when considering a reunion with Toronto: “It’ll happen one day. It’s supposed to happen.”
It was fitting that Carter earned 25,000th career point against the Raptors on a dunk at the buzzer this past season. This would be a storybook ending for a player who started his career here and still holds multiple franchise records.
Featured Image, NBA News, Insane Sports