May 4, 2014; San Antonio, TX, USA; San Antonio Spurs guard Danny Green (4) and Dallas Mavericks guard Vince Carter (25) share a laugh in game seven of the first round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs at AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

Is Vince Carter returning to Toronto a real possibility?

May 4, 2014; San Antonio, TX, USA; San Antonio Spurs guard Manu Ginobili (20) gets fouled while shooting against Dallas Mavericks guard Vince Carter (left) in game seven of the first round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs at AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

I don’t know whether the straws in the wind about Vince Carter coming back to the city where his remarkable NBA career started are genuine, or slow-news-day fantasy. With some reservations, I’ve decided to weigh in, meaning I’m giving the idea some credence.

One is hard pressed to explain to newer Toronto Raptors fans how important Vince (Air Canada) Carter was to this team, city and country, while he was here. He remains the best player in franchise history, although his desire to leave, and his shabby play before he was traded, has stained his legacy. Like Chris Bosh, Vince still attracts boos whenever he’s announced into the game, or touches the ball.

Vince’s Dallas Mavericks have just suffered the same fate as our Toronto Raptors, namely being turfed from the playoffs after 7 tough games. The Mavs gave the heavily favoured San Antonio Spurs all they could handle. Mavs owner Mark Cuban is highly loyal to “his” players, and reportedly wants Vince back. Be that as it may, should Raps GM Masai Ujiri pick up the phone to Vince’s agent or not?

Vince can still play, folks. He may be 37, but he averaged double figures in scoring this season, and in the playoffs. He made 15 of 31 3-ball attempts against the Spurs, grabbed some rebounds, handed out assists – a healthy series for him. Ultimately, signing Vince has to be a basketball decision. Don’t bring him back to appease the fans, or because doing so would be heartwarming and a great return-of-the-prodigal-son story of forgiveness worthy of an ESPN special.

Here are a few questions Masai needs to ask himself:

  1. Does our club need an elder-statesman type of player, one who is happy to contribute off the bench and provide guidance in the locker room to our numerous kids?
  2. If so, is Vince who we should be pursuing?
  3. Can we afford him?

I’m not convinced the answer is a definite Yes for anything of these. Here’s my advice Masai, and it may be worth no more than I’m charging you for it – call the agent and say we’re interested. Put the phone down, and don’t think about the matter again for another 3 months. You’ve got more pressing priorities, like getting the name “Kyle Lowry” on a fresh contract. If Vince and his people are interested, they’ll reach out in good time.

What do you think, Rapture Nation? Should Vince end his career in Toronto? Please drop a Comment.

Tags: Toronto Raptors Vince Carter

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