Kyle Lowry says Vince Carter nearly returned to Raptors in FA

TORONTO, ONTARIO - JUNE 10: Former Toronto Raptors player Vince Carter (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ONTARIO - JUNE 10: Former Toronto Raptors player Vince Carter (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images) /

The Toronto Raptors have seen a fair deal of quality players come through the hallowed halls of Scotiabank Arena over the years, but very few (if any) can match up to the sheer magnetism that Vince Carter brought to the table. Even considering his frosty departure, Carter is a club icon. 

Carter’s tenure in Toronto helped bring the Raptors to the postseason for the first time and establish the league’s lone Canadian franchise as someone that is not to be messed with. Carter continued to ply his trade until 2020, becoming a solid shooter after this trademark verticality started to fade.

Carter was still effective late in his career as a perimeter player, and Toronto could have used a veteran sniper in the postseason when LeBron James kept pummeling them into dust. Another Raptors icon in Kyle Lowry tried his hardest to make sure that Carter put on Raptors colors once again.

On “The VC Show,” Lowry claimed that he and Carter talked about Vinsanity returning to Toronto during the later nomadic part of his career. While Carter was reportedly “all in” on playing one of his final seasons beside Lowry in Toronto, factors beyond their control made it impossible for the reunion to happen.

Vince Carter almost returned to the Toronto Raptors.

After leaving Memphis after the 2017 season, Carter spent one season as a reserve with the Sacramento Kings before rounding out his career somewhat close to home with two years on the Atlanta Hawks. Carter averaged 6.3 points and 2.3 rebounds per game in his age-42 and age-43 seasons.

While he never won a championship in Toronto, it wasn’t due to a lack of trying (at least, before 2004). During his five-year peak with the Raptors between 1999-00 and 2003-04, Carter averaged 24.6 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 4.0 assists per game while maintaining solid efficiency percentages.

While he controversially bolted Toronto, large segments of the fanbase have been more than willing to patch things up with Carter. If Lowry was willing to bring him back, that should serve as a huge red beacon illustrating what the organization thought of Carter at the time.

Carter will always have a slightly complicated legacy in Toronto, but it sounds like legends in the same vain as Lowry were totally on board with a sudden Vinsanity return. It would have been nice to see him in Raptors red and black before retiring. I guess we’ll have to wait until No. 15 gets retired.

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