Top buyout candidates after the NBA trade deadline

(Photo by Ron Turenne/NBAE via Getty Images)
(Photo by Ron Turenne/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /

Vince Carter

Vince Carter is not new to being linked to a return to Toronto. At age 42, this swingman is earning $2.4M. In his 20th year in the league, he is playing for the Atlanta Hawks. As the NBA’s oldest active player, it is not surprising that he is down in nearly every statistical category from his career averages.

Carter has over six points, two rebounds and an assist per game this season. It has been 18 years since he dazzled with 27.6 points per contest with the Raptors. Even Vinsanity’s biggest fans know that he is nowhere near the same player. Playing just under 16 minutes a game with the Hawks, he is still getting plenty of looks from the perimeter and converting on 37% of his triples. Despite a large decline in Carter’s foot speed, he remains a competent defender. This is why he has managed to accumulate 20 seasons of work in the NBA.

The Raptors may be interested in reuniting with Air Canada for a few reasons. Bringing him back to Toronto is a nice story. They may believe that nostalgia can bring more casual fans’ eyes on the team. He could also act as a mentor for younger players, similar to the way Crawford could. On the floor, the organization may believe that Carter could potentially be a useful three-and-D.

If Carter finds himself a free agent before season’s end, it is not in the best interest of the Raptors to sign him. The media frenzy that would accompany his acquisition may bring change to the demeanour of the players in the locker room. He is also not as mobile as anyone he would be replacing on the current roster. Unless Masai and Webster feel like they are in desperate need of a calming presence in tense in-game moments, they may want to take a pass on Carter.