Vince Carter isn’t ready to walk away from the NBA, he told reporters in a video tweeted by NBA TV. Carter, 39, could be headed toward free agency after his Grizzlies were swept out of the playoffs by the Spurs this afternoon. He is under contract with Memphis for next season and is slated to make $4,264,057, but only $2MM of that is guaranteed. Carter averaged 6.6 points per night this year in 60 games with the Grizzlies, all but three of them as a reserve. “When I don’t feel like training or lose the passion and love for the game, then it’s time to walk away,” Carter said in a postgame press conference. “I still have it. It still bothers me to lose games and not play well.”
There’s more on a season-ending day in Memphis:
- Mike Conley‘s aching Achilles is improving and he is looking forward to his first experience as an unrestricted free agent, writes Ronald Tillery of The Commercial Appeal. Conley, who hasn’t played since March 6th, will be the top point guard on the open market this offseason, and he can expect several teams to come calling. That should produce a substantial raise from the nearly $9.6MM he made this season. “This summer will be a fun one for me,” Conley said. “Free agency is new for me. We’ll see how it goes.”
- Memphis coach Dave Joerger should be remembered for making history by leading a roster that included 28 different players at one point or another into the playoffs, writes Geoff Calkins of The Commercial Appeal. The Grizzlies were ravaged by season-ending injuries that robbed Joerger of Conley, Marc Gasol and Mario Chalmers. Two other key contributors, Jeff Green and Courtney Lee, were traded for draft picks at the deadline. “It’s frustrating from the level as a coach, where you see, especially San Antonio, they’re at the doctoral level of things that they run,” Joerger said. “And we had to go backward. … It’s just difficult when you have new guys, new faces. Defense is built on trust.”
- With today’s loss, the Grizzlies are now eligible to make trades, tweets Bobby Marks of The Vertical. They join the 14 nonplayoff teams that have been in that position since the regular season ended. Only players under contract for next season who don’t have player options can be dealt.