Vince Carter: Grizzlies gain is Mavericks loss


Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

It’s rare to see super stars alter their games to become great role players, but that didn’t stop Vince Carter for doing so. The one time highlight-reel, is still fighting holding off Father Time.

The man formally known as “Half Man, Half Amazing” has finally come to terms on a contract to extend his 16-year career with the Memphis Grizzlies.

Carter, 37, has become a great role player and three-point threat off the bench during his time with the Mavericks. During this past season, he averaged 11.9 points, 3.5 rebounds, 2.6 assists, and shot 39.4% from deep in 81 games.

His transition from Dunk Champion to a shooting threat made Carter a sought after name. His ability to create, defend, and spread the court are tools that contending teams want off of their bench.

Carter was the fifth overall selection during the 1998 draft by the Golden State Warriors. The Toronto Raptors would obtain his rights for the rights of Antawn Jamison.

Carter didn’t just take Canada by storm, earning rookie of the year honors and the nickname “Air Canada”, but the whole league. His incredible dunks, whether in games, the dunk contest, or Olympics, were the talk of the league.

His time in Toronto would turn ugly. He was accused of quitting on the team, which eventually led to him being traded to the New Jersey Nets during the 2004-2005 season.

He would eventually be traded to the Orlando Magic during the 2009-2010 season. His time in Orlando was short-lived; he was traded the following season to the Phoenix Suns.

Carter joined the Mavs during the 2011-2012 offseason after the team allowed Tyson Chandler, J.J. Barea, and Caron Butler to leave following their NBA Championship win.

After the departure of Jason Terry during the 2012 offseason, Carter was anointed the team’s 6th man. His play and leadership had coach Rick Carlisle constantly name him, along with Dirk Nowitzki and Monta Ellis, as one of the Mavs Big-3 this season .

Over his career, Carter has averaged 20.2 points, 4.9 rebounds, and 3.7 assists. He’s an 8 time All-Star and has been named to the All NBA second (2001) and third (2000)team .

With Jose Calderon and Wayne Ellington in New York and Carter in Memphis, Nowitzki (39.8%) is the only Mavs player to shoot above 33%  from behind the line. A strength of last season’s team is now a drastic need.

Also with Carter’s departure, the bench is expected to take a big hit. With all the Mavs remaining cap space tied to Chandler Parsons, the team will have to look at minimum deals to fill an empty bench. Along with Carter, DeJuan Blair is no longer under contract. A bench that was amongst the best in the league will now be a question mark.

Despite no longer being the All-Star he was, Carter has been able to transform himself into a great teammate and role player. His presence will be greatly missed in Big-D.

One final note: He’ll alway be remembered for this epic shot against the San Antonio Spurs.