Toronto Raptors v Dallas Mavericks

Report: Raptors eying Vince Carter in free agency


Pending free agent Vince Carter wants to stay with the Mavericks, but a couple years ago, he said this about signing with the Raptors:

“If (Toronto) gave me the opportunity, I don’t even think I’d let them finish the question. Yes. I’m in,” Carter said, speaking on Cybulski and Company.

“Could I see it? Absolutely,” Carter continued. “I’d leave that up to the franchise. It all started in Toronto, I’d be a fool to ever forget that.”

Well, “the franchise” might want him.

Marc Stein of ESPN:

Word is that the Raptors have been kicking around the idea of making a free-agent play this summer to try to bring Vince Carter “home” by trying to sign the former face of the franchise away from the Mavericks.

Be advised that Carter has been very happy in Dallas these past three seasons. Veryhappy. He’s emerged as the emotional leader of Dirk Nowitzki‘s team

A free agent this summer, Carter will have plenty of options.

He followed a strong regular season with an even better postseason, highlighted by scoring 28 points in 27 minutes in a Game 5 loss to the Spurs. Carter has become a dependable reserve still capable of occasional star-level contributions.

At 37, Carter could get another decent-sized contract – he made $9.27 million during the last three years with Dallas – or accept less on a contender.

The Raptors could certainly use him. He’d be an upgrade over John Salmons and Landry Fields, or he could maybe even start over Terrence Ross. Ross had plenty of good moments, but at times, he was playing over his head, and a reserve role might ease his development.

Yes, Toronto fans still boo Carter, but I think they’d get over it. By returning to Canada, he’d reverse a lot of the ill will he generated by forcing his way out. In 2004, Carter didn’t want to be in Toronto. In 2014, he could prove he does by going there.

Personally, I hope Carter signs with the Raptors – only to see him in this jersey one more time.

Spurs to give Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili Friday night off in Denver

Manu Ginobili, Harrison Barnes, Tim Duncan
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The Spurs are 12-3 and comfortably in second place in the West, they have the best defense in the NBA allowing just 93.8 points per 100 possessions, and they have a top-10 offense to go with it.

So, time to start making sure guys are rested.

That is the first night of a back-to-back, with former Spurs’ assistant coach Mike Budenholzer and his Atlanta Hawks coming to San Antonio on Saturday. Popovich is saving his two veterans for that game.

Duncan and Ginobili have looked like they found the fountain of youth this season. Duncan is taking on less of the offense but has been very efficient in those moments. Ginobili has the impact he did a few years back in his bench role.

What Gregg Popovich cares about is them playing like that come the postseason. So they will rest on Friday.

Brandon Armstrong impersonates Ray Allen (video)

2014 NBA Finals - Game Five
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Ray Allen is retired-ish, but he’ll always be running through screens – in our mind and in this video.

Celtics draft pick Marcus Thornton gets beer dumped on head during Australian game (video)

Marcus Thornton, Will Cherry

The Celtics drafted Marcus Thornton with No. 45 pick in the 2015 NBA draft. That essentially entitled him to the required tender – a one-year contract offer, surely unguaranteed at the minimum.

Thornton rejected that, which is almost always a mistake.

Rejecting the tender is a favor to the drafting team, which gets to keep the player’s exclusive rights for a year. If Thornton tries to join the NBA now, he’s stuck negotiating with only the Celtics.

By accepting the tender, the player typically gets one of two outcomes. He either plays on that contract and draws an NBA salary or he gets waived. But even getting waived is better than rejecting the tender, because at least the player becomes a free agent and can negotiate with any team.

Players who reject the tender go to another league and play for less money. In Thornton’s case, that mean Australia.

How’s that going?

(Almost) never reject the required tender as a second-round pick.

Byron Scott says they just have to get Kobe Bryant better looks

Kobe Bryant, Joe Johnson, Byron Scott

Kobe Bryant is averaging 15.2 points a game at age 37. It’s just taking him 16.4 shots per game to get there. After his 1-of-14 shooting performance against the Warriors the other night — with too much isolation and too many plays run just for him — there has been a lot of talk about his shot. With reason, this is his shot chart so far this season.

Kobe shotchart season

So what do the Lakers’ do? Get Kobe to shoot less and get the ball in the hands of the young stars they supposed to be developing more? Nah.

They just need to get Kobe better looks, Scott told the Los Angeles Times.

“I know his mentality is that he can still play in this league,” Scott said. “And we feel the same way….

“Obviously he’s struggling right now with his shot, and I think everybody can see that,” Scott said. “So it’s trying to get him in better position to be able to have an opportunity to knock those shots down on a consistent basis. That’s No. 1.

“I don’t know if it’s his legs. I don’t think so. Again, our conversations are pretty blunt. … He tells me when he is tired and he tells me when he’s not tired. And the last few days, he said he feels great. So, I don’t think it’s a matter of him being tired or his legs being tired. I think it’s a matter of his timing being a little off.”

Yes, how could it be his legs? It’s not like he’s a 37-year-old with more than 55,000 NBA minutes played, and coming off an Achilles rupture and major knee surgery.

Honestly, I hope the Lakers and Kobe find a balance soon, because they have become just hard to watch. And I don’t want Kobe to go out this way.