Like fellow 1998 draftee Dirk Nowitzki, Vince Carter intends to return to the NBA for a 21st season in 2018/19, he confirmed today. Writing for The Undefeated along with Marc J. Spears, Carter announced that he plans on coming back for “one more season,” adding that he’s “90% sure” he’ll call it a career a year from now.
[RELATED: Dirk Nowitzki will return for 2018/19 season]
“I just think that after next season it is time,” Carter wrote. “It’s been great … maybe two more years. But, you know, in my mind, I think it’s time for one more. And I think this summer will probably be the toughest summer. Probably just doing what I need to do to be prepared. I know I have to do it to be in the league. When I have to have those conversations with myself, I know it’s getting time.”
Carter, the oldest active player in the NBA at 41 years of age, has seen his role dialed back in recent years for the Grizzlies and now the Kings. In 57 games (five starts) for Sacramento this season, Carter posted 5.3 PPG and 2.5 RPG with a shooting line of .396/.340/.757. All of those numbers are, of course, below his career averages.
Still, the eight-time All-Star has been a valued veteran presence in the locker room, and earned an $8MM contract from the Kings when he entered free agency last summer. Carter is unlikely to get that sort of payday again this time around, admitting in his Undefeated piece that he may “have to be patient” and wait out the first wave of free agent signings while he seeks out an opportunity.
One potential option for Carter next season could be a return to Toronto, where he started his NBA career. The Raptors reportedly mulled the idea of targeting their former star as a buyout candidate this year, but ultimately decided to put the possibility of a reunion on hold. For his part, Carter said back in December that a return to the Raptors “will happen,” though it could just be for a ceremonial one-day contract when he retires.
If Carter does retire as a player at the end of the 2018/19 season, expect him to transition into a role as an analyst or broadcaster — the veteran forward has talked in the past about his interest in that side of the game, and reiterated that interest again in today’s Undefeated piece.
“Once my last days as an NBA player are done, I can transition into phase two, which I definitely would love to be in broadcasting, be a broadcaster or even some sideline reporting,” Carter wrote. “I’ve been doing a little bit of that. Postgame reporting. Just a little bit of everything. I just want to be in the [media] business.”