Vince Carter Wants To Re-Sign With Mavericks
Vince Carter has had an up-close view of the Mavericks’ fall from grace.
It’s not easy when you join a team the season after a championship run, especially when you are transitioning into a new role as a support player rather than a featured performer.
In three seasons with the Mavericks, Carter has seen them go from defending champions to barely making the playoffs to missing them entirely.
Neither he nor anybody else knows if this season will produce a return to the postseason. But Carter does know two things.
This team is better than last year’s. And he desperately wants to hang around to see this rebuilding project through to the end.
Or at least next season.
“I think I’ve earned the right to stick around,” Carter said.
The 6-6 future Hall of Famer will be a free agent after this season. Carter’s three-year contract he signed before the 2011-12 season has been a huge bargain, as the Mavericks paid him only about $9.3 million for those years of work.
He hopes it is a no-brainer that he re-signs with the Mavericks.
“My fingers are crossed,” he said. “Next year might be even better. We can attract some more people, more talent. Now I know my role, and I know the system, it’s second nature to me now. I know the city very well. I’m stepping out, going to SMU games and getting out and about. I’m very comfortable here.
“I like the guys. I like the nucleus we have here. With my role and the way I play and the way I go about things, it really helps guys here. And they like that. Hopefully, that’s enough so that they can still have trust in me enough to play significant minutes and help the other guys out.”
It’s hard to say the 37-year-old Carter has put together one of the best seasons of his career if you base it solely on numbers. If you factor in personal satisfaction, however, it may be the best year he’s ever had.
Carter probably won’t win the NBA’s sixth man of the year award, but he’s deserving of consideration. He’s the true definition of the role. He plays about half the game, averages a point every two minutes played, can still levitate like it’s 1999 and has a burning desire to see this team continue to get better.
And that includes seeing what happens next. But Carter is wise enough to know that things may not work out.
“The business side, it happens,” he said. “And maybe they need the money. But I’m hoping we’re talking right here at this time next year.”
Carter’s play as this season has gone along has made it clear he’s not finished as a player. While he enjoys the mentoring role — you can see him on the sideline offering his experience to younger players during games — he’s still a gamer.
And he likes being the sixth man on a good team.
“In the beginning, that first year, it was learning how to go about it,” he said. “It’s still having the starter’s mentality, be aggressive, make plays, but within the confines of the offense. And understanding my role.
“That’s the biggest thing for all players, particularly for guys coming from a starting position into a backup role, is accepting the new position. Once I understood it, everything is easier.”
Carter’s season has been very solid, especially when you consider the awful first month he had. Since Dec. 1, he’s shot 42.5 percent overall and 41.1 percent from 3-point range. He’s averaging 12.1 points, but just a shade below 14 in March.
He’s coming off a season-high-tying 23 points against the Los Angeles Clippers.
“This is what makes players, the last 10, 15 games of the season,” Carter said. “We’re fighting to make the playoffs, and we’re all trying to do everything we can.