Vince Carter, unlike most of his Mavericks teammates, isn't set to hit free agency this summer. The 36-year-old is signed through 2014, but Mavs owner Mark Cuban hopes the team can keep him beyond next season, writes Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News. Cuban has no concerns about Carter's game declining after a bounceback season this year, and would like to see Carter eventually retire as a Mav.
"He can play for more than a year, easily," Cuban said. "He’ll be cranking those motorcycle handles for a while."
Carter's scoring average is up to 13.2 points per game this year, more than three points higher than last season's mark in essentially the same amount of playing time. He's taking more shots, but his field-goal percentage is higher, and his three-point shooting, at 39.8%, is the best it's been since 2004/05.
Coach Rick Carlisle has used Carter as a sixth man this season, and it's the first time in the 15th-year veteran's career that he hasn't started at least half of his team's games. Carter is making $3.09MM this season and $3.18MM in 2013/14, so whatever he makes on his next contract couldn't be too much of a paycut.
Cuban's comments seem, at least on the surface, to indicate the Mavs won't look to trade him to free up cap space in pursuit of a marquee free agent this summer. Of course, Cuban might just be trying to talk up Carter's trade value, so nothing's certain. Carter was reportedly part of a proposed Josh Smith trade at the deadline.