Samuel Dalembert apparently isn’t the only member of the Mavs the team intends to bring back next season, as GM Donnie Nelson says the club is interested in re-signing Vince Carter, observes Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News. Carter, a free agent at season’s end, said last week that he hoped to return and that he felt he’s made his case to do so, and it seems the team agrees.
“The feeling is absolutely mutual,” Nelson said. “When you’ve got that kind of veteran leadership, we’re a better team. It’s better for the younger guys. Those are the kind of guys you want in that locker room carrying that baton and eventually passing it along.”
Just how anxious the Mavs are to retain the 37-year-old remains to be seen. Nelson says Carter has exceeded the value of the three-year, $9.27MM contract he signed with the team in 2011, pointing to the diversification of his game. Carter has taken 46.1% of his shots from behind the arc the past two seasons, more than ever before, and he’s nailed 40% of them.
The Mavs will have Carter’s Bird rights, so they have plenty of flexibility in how much they can dole out to him. Dallas has slightly more than $30MM in commitments for next season, a number that includes Dalembert’s full salary but not a new contract for Dirk Nowitzki. Carter could be an attractive option for taxpaying teams with a focus on winning now, as he remains a productive sixth man despite his advanced age and seems a fit for the taxpayer’s mid-level exception, which Dallas used to sign him three years ago.
Carter could make a starting salary of $3.278MM on that exception, which calls for deals of up to three years in length. That could net the Kurt Schoeppler client more than $10MM in total. I think most teams, including Dallas, would make a portion of that amount non-guaranteed, since he’d be 40 by the end of such a deal, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Mavs use some of their cap space to bring the salaries up a touch and give themselves a financial advantage.