Even at age 39 by the end of last season, Vince Carter was a solid contributor for the Grizzlies (in what was a difficult season due to injuries all over that roster). He gave them 6.8 points per night, shot 34.9 percent from three (where he took almost half his shots), played pretty good defense, and for 13 minutes a night he was a replacement level player (not bad off the bench for an inexpensive $4 million a season).
Carter will play his 19th NBA season with the Grizzlies this season, and could have a larger role with the team. He told ESPN he wants to do a 20th season after that.
“We know No. 19 is definitely going to go down. I’m shooting for 20, and we’ll go from there after that.”
Why does he keep coming back?
“Love for the game. Nothing else. I just love to play. It’s not out of me yet. When I don’t want to play and don’t want to put the work in, that’s when I step away from the game, but right now I still love it.”
For a lot of guys, the time to hang it up is not because of their play on the court – the games are always fun — it’s when they are no longer willing to put in the time in the weight room and gym to get their bodies ready for the season that they walk away. If Carter still loves the prep part getting ready for the season, then good for him. He should play as long as his mind and body are able.
Based on the way he played last season, I could see him playing two more years. That said, his contract is only guaranteed for $2 million through the middle of the season — it is possible the Grizzlies move him as trade bait, or waive him themselves to create space for another wing. However, Memphis doesn’t have a lot of depth there, if they let Carter go they need a wing replacement.