So rumors are abound that the Phoenix Suns may buy out Vince Carter this season. At age 34, without a ring but plenty of money in the bank, Carter's the type of player who will have to decide if he can find one last decent contract (maybe he could get a 2 year MLE deal), or whether to sign for the minimum with a team that gives him a chance to come away with the big prize.
Would the Bulls even consider Vince Carter?
They gave Tracy McGrady a workout last year despite the fact that many felt McGrady should be sent off to the glue farm and had an attitude that was probably even worse than his cousin's in terms of self-centeredness.
Given that, I suspect if they think Vince has some game left that they'll be more than willing to consider him. Given that Carter isn't coming off of a crazy injury, they'll do so quietly behind closed doors rather than bringing him in for a workout.
Would you take Carter for the minimum?
Carter's always been one of my least liked players in the NBA. The way he groused his way out of Toronto by faking injuries is deplorable. He's been a guy who's folded when it counts for his team as well.
He's coming off his worst statistical year in terms of overall play, and at 34, it's safe to assume that's not an outlier, but a degradation of skills due to the aging process. He's not going to defend much, probably won't hustle much, and has to be viewed as somewhat of an attitude risk.
I think you have to find out whether he feels comfortable being a side piece rather than a centerpiece, will come off the bench if necessary, and is all about team play at this point in his career.
That' being said, Carter doesn't strike me as a guy who ever relished the role of being the man, and in fact, completely crumpled under it Toronto and demanded out. So I expect the answers to these questions to be yes.
While it's not my first plan, I'd give a thumbs up to a Carter signing
Despite every negative thing I said about Carter, he can create his own shot off the dribble better than anyone else we'll get for the minimum. He's a willing passer and can set up others. He can drive to the hoop to create fouls occasionally, and he comes in a package with legitimate size.
There's a million reasons to dislike Carter, and a part of me would die rooting for the guy, but at the minimum, he's the type of guy you jump all over, and waive two months in if it doesn't work out.
There are other brittle veterans out there who might be looking to sign on for a ring. Tracy McGrady, and Michael Redd are a couple other guys who might be available. However, it's been too long since Redd has done anything to trust him to do anything ever again while McGrady's comeback tour included a coup against his new coach (gratitude for the win!),
Given the choice of the three, I think I'd side with Carter who can create off the dribble, be a secondary ball handler, draw some fouls, shoot decently from the outside, and provide a big body at the two guard position.
This puts him as second, behind Richard Hamilton, on my crusty veteran two guard who might be available for the minimum list. I like Vince's skillset more than Hamilton, but I think Hamilton has a bit more left in the tank, comes in with a better attitude, is less likely to fold like a cheap suit in the playoffs, and I trust him behind the arc a bit more.
The Bulls also already have a playbook set up for a guy to run around screens and shoot mid range twos, and Hamilton probably executes it considerably better than Kyle Korver who's been jammed in that role all year.
Still, Hamilton may not be available, and I could be sold on Vince as the #1 crusty SG vet at the minimum with a strong argument despite my personal dislike for the guy's career.