The wonderful and talented Marc Stein (Steiny-mo, for all you BS Report listeners) had a few thoughts on the Raptors season following their heart-breaking loss to the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday. In his report, Stein argues in favor of the return of both Kyle Lowry and Dwane Casey. He didn’t give any figures on Lowry, but did peg the floor of Casey’s extension at a minimum of two seasons.
But that’s not why you clicked on the headline.
Stein goes on to mention that the Toronto Raptors will reportedly pursue unrestricted free agent Vincent Lamar Carter this off-season. That’s right. Wince may be coming back.
In his report, Stein also throws on the caveat that Carter is very happy with Dallas, and the 37-year old swingman is more than open to a second trip around the Dirkus Circus. Similarly, the Mavericks also have interest in retaining Carter, as he served as a very serviceable sixth man for the Mavs over the last three seasons. Despite his advanced age, Carter averaged 11.6 points, 3.5 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game on 53.9 TS%. He rated out at above league average in both Win Shares per 48 (0.105) and PER (15.9).
The fit for Toronto makes a lot of sense given the on-court needs. Carter is a skilled wing who can handle the ball, create off the dribble and on occasion, hop in a time-machine (powered by revving his handlebars, apparently) and dunking on fools. He’s also a smart defender who understands how to play his role in defensive schemes. And most importantly, he’s NOT JOHN SALMONS. That should be enough to win you over.
Unless of course, you’re of the mind that Vince Carter should remain banished from the Northern Realm.
I’m too young to remember the beef with Vince, although I’ve read enough Raptors’ content over the years to understand what went down. Some fault management for Vince’s departure. Some fault Vince for not being a professional with the way he went about angling for his departure. The truth is probably somewhere in the middle. All I remember is that the Vince trade brought about a hilarious scenario wherein there were three Raptors players with the last name “Williams”, and a friend of mine made a rap verse about it. T’was very amusing.
Why are there three Williams on the team?/When each one is as cold as ice cream?
And by all reports, Vince has repeatedly expressed interest in making a return to the Raptors. Although he never formally apologized for the way he screwed the team (seriously, ‘Zo, 2xWilliams, a draft pick for Vince Carter is highway robbery), he’s had positive sentiments about his former franchise. In an interview with TSN in 2012, Vince said:
“If (Toronto) gave me the opportunity, I don’t even think I’d let them finish the question. Yes. I’m in,” Carter said. When asked if he could envision a potential reunion, Carter added “Could I see it? Absolutely. I’d leave that up to the franchise. It all started in Toronto, I’d be a fool to ever forget that.”
Also, earlier this year, GM Masai Ujiri admitted that El Presidente Tim Leiweke met with Vince when he was in town, and preached “open-mindedness”.
For more Vince coverage, be sure to put Blake’s excellent piece on the Relationship Between Raptors fans and Vince Carter into your eyeballs, and the Rapcast’s Vince episode into your earballs.
So what are your thoughts? Are you pro-Vince, or con-Vince(d) that he should remain exiled?