Vince Carter says he plans to return for 2018-19 NBA season
NBA.com Global on Apr 12, 2018 07:57 AM
SACRAMENTO, CA - MARCH 19: Vince Carter #15 of the Sacramento Kings goes to the basket against the Detroit Pistons on March 19, 2018 at Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, California. (Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images)
NBA.com staff report
Sacramento Kings swingman Vince Carter will officially wrap up the 19th season of his NBA career today. As far as he can tell, he'll be logging season No. 20 come 2018-19.
In his most recent bimonthly diary for ESPN's The Undefeated, Carter made it clear he is looking to play next season:
I plan on coming back next season. I plan on coming back one more season. I’m almost 90 percent sure that’s it after next season. … You kind of go through the season, especially when the end is near and you say, ‘Hey, how do I feel?’ The summertime kind of dictates it all. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the most important time for the older guys in the league like myself and [Dallas Mavericks star] Dirk [Nowitzki] and I think all the other guys, I could say [San Antonio Spurs forward] Pau [Gasol], then could say that preparing for the season in the summer is probably the hardest thing to do when you’re approaching the last years. I always said I’ll walk away from the game when I’m not willing to put the work in to be prepared for the season. I wouldn’t disrespect the game like that.
I just think that after next season it is time. It’s been great … maybe two more years. But, you know, in my mind, I think it’s time for one more. And I think this summer will probably be the toughest summer. Probably just doing what I need to do to be prepared. I know I have to do it to be in the league. When I have to have those conversations with myself, I know it’s getting time.
Is Sacramento a possibility? Or how am I looking at free agency. I don’t know. I stay in my lane. I know how it will work and I know teams are going to do what they do, go through the draft, make their trades and cuts and whatnot. Then it’s my time. I just have to wait. I get it. You know what I’m saying? So, I just have to be patient. I have to make sure that I’m prepared to go. And then go from there. It’s just all about timing and what’s the right decision or what makes sense. I’m sure there will be a lot of teams that’ll make moves and have spots available and are going to need something from a guy. Hopefully that I can bring to the table. Yeah, I’ll be ready.
Last summer, Carter signed a one-year deal with the Kings and will thus be an unrestricted free agent this summer. The 41-year-old is the oldest player in the league and served as a veteran mentor of sorts for the Kings in 2017-18 despite averaging career-lows in several categories (5.3 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 1.2 apg in 17.6 minutes per game).
Carter is 22nd on the NBA's all-time scoring list (24,856), ranking just behind Hall of Famers Reggie Miller (25,279) and Jerry West (25,192). He is an eight-time All-Star, the 1998-99 Rookie of the Year and made the All-NBA Second Team in 2000-01 and the All-NBA Third Team in 1999-2000.