Vince Carter

Hawks Notes: Free Agency, Carter, Pierce

A report from Sam Amick of The Athletic last month indicated that the Hawks intend to be aggressive in free agency this summer, pursuing meetings with “everyone from Kevin Durant on down.” However, head coach Lloyd Pierce and general manager Travis Schlenk tell Robby Kalland of Dime Magazine that the team has no plans to force the issue or spend its cap room irresponsibly.

“I think what’s really important is a lot of times mistakes are made when teams go, ‘We have this cap space, we need to use it,'” Schlenk said. “You can’t spend it on the wrong guy. Right? I say all the time, if you make a mistake in a draft, it doesn’t kill your franchise. Obviously you don’t want to make mistakes, but you’re talking about a two-year guaranteed contract with a small dollar amount. You make mistakes and free agents, and now you’re talking, to today’s world, a four-year contract at $25-30MM. Those can be [killers].”

Schlenk suggested that the Hawks will most likely target players who slip through the cracks and are available on shorter-term or team-friendly deals. A one- or two-year big-money contract – like what the Sixers did with J.J. Redick – could make sense for Atlanta, Kalland notes. Pierce believes the Hawks have taken the steps necessary to receive serious consideration from that sort of veteran free agent.

“We feel like we’re in a position now where we feel like people are going to look at the Atlanta Hawks and say, ‘They’re onto something,'” Pierce said. “Young guys that are really good. Young culture that they’ve established that everyone loves, and that’s what we’re talking about. The arena, ownership, GM, coach are all aligned. They came in at the same time, they’re on the same page, year after year after year. They turned it around, they added these three young guys to it, they’re headed in the right direction. But we can’t skip that step either. I don’t know what the next step is, if there’s a perfect free agent or the perfect locker room guy that can come in and help us, that’s great. But if there isn’t, we can’t force it.”

Here’s more on the Hawks from Kalland’s deep dive:

  • Hawks minority owner Grant Hill and young big man John Collins both spoke to Kalland about being encouraged by the progression of the team’s rebuilding process. “How we approach the game is different from other teams I feel like who are sort of in similar (rebuilding) situations,” Collins said. “And I feel like our situation is we’re light years ahead of where we’re supposed to be and where people think we are regardless of our record. I feel like when you watch us play and you see how we play offensively, defensively, the way we move a ball, the way we run the floor. It paints a pretty bright future. I can’t wait to be a part of it.”
  • Although he’s not a long-term building block like Collins or Trae Young, Vince Carter has been an important part of this season’s Hawks team, according to Pierce, who tells Kalland that the 42-year-old swingman has created “a different atmosphere” in Atlanta’s locker room.
  • For his part, Carter says he has tried to impart the lessons he has learned over the course of his career on the Hawks’ young players. “For Trae, he’s one of the faces of this franchise along with John Collins, so there’s more responsibility,” Carter told Kalland. “… There’s a lot of things that come with wanting to be ‘The Man’ of a franchise. I’ve been there for a lot of years, so I’ve seen a lot. So I’m just trying to share my wisdom, both in conversation and on the court, because I feel like in the world today you have to do a little more than just have a conversation. I like to lead by example and by showing the young guys the way.”
  • Speaking about the decision to hire Pierce as Atlanta’s new head coach last year, Schlenk tells Kalland that the former Sixers assistant has “exceeded our expectations.”

Vince Carter Hopes To Play One More Season

Hawks veteran Vince Carter plans to return next season as a player with hopes of extending his career to 22 NBA seasons, he said Thursday night on ESPN’s Pardon The Interruption.

Carter, who turned 42 in January, will formally evaluate the situation in the summer but made it clear he wants to return for the 2019/20 season.

“I think I could stretch it out one more [year],” Carter said. “At the end of the year, I usually assess from top to bottom to see how I’m feeling. And, obviously, opportunity — when the phone call rings and teams show interest, that’s a good thing.”

Carter, widely considered to be one of the game’s all-time great dunkers, has averaged 7.1 points, 2.5 rebounds and 16.6 minutes per game, shooting 44% from the floor and a career-high 41% from 3-point range on the season. He’s appeared in 61 of Atlanta’s 66 games.

Carter was selected with the No. 5 pick in the 1998 draft and has made stops with Toronto, New Jersey, Orlando, Phoenix, Dallas, Memphis, Sacramento and Atlanta across his two-decade journey. For comparison’s sake, future Hall-of-Famer Dwyane Wade — drafted five years after Carter with a long, storied career of his own — is set to retire at season’s end. The same could be said for veteran Channing Frye, who was drafted seven years after Carter.

For the Hawks, Carter will reach free agency on July 1. He signed a deal to join the team last summer, using his veteran leadership and experience to help their young group throughout the season.

“Me, personally, I think I could give it another year, so why not?” Carter said. “We’ll see what happens.”

Vince Carter Undecided On Future Beyond 2018/19

Vince Carter will turn 42 years old later this month and has tied an NBA record by playing in the league for 21 seasons. However, he’s still not sure that the 2018/19 campaign will be his last, as he told reporters – including Josh Lewenberg of TSN.ca (Twitter link) – on Tuesday.

“We’ll see what happens at the end of the year. I feel good,” Carter said. “I’ll weigh my options when it’s done. I’d like to come back and play.”

Carter said back in August that he was “90-something per cent sure” that this season with the Hawks would be his last, but he goes back and forth frequently and said on Tuesday that he still can’t picture himself saying, “This is it” (Twitter link via Lewenberg). He has continued to be a productive role player in Atlanta so far in 2018/19, averaging 7.3 PPG on .409/.374/.769 shooting in 37 games (17.4 MPG).

There’s also another interesting factor at play here. Currently, Carter is tied with four other longtime NBA players – Robert Parish, Kevin Willis, Kevin Garnett, and Dirk Nowitzki – for career longevity at 21 seasons. If Nowitzki doesn’t return for another season in 2019/20 and Carter does, the former Slam Dunk champion would become the only player in league history to play for 22 seasons.

Setting that record certainly won’t be the only factor Carter considers as he weighs his future, but it sounds like one he’s very aware of, as Michael Grange of Sportsnet.ca observes (via Twitter). Doug Smith of The Toronto Star has the full quote from Carter on that record.

“The only thing that would be new to accomplish at this point — obviously winning a championship, that’s obvious — (is) just the longest career,” he said. “I know now that I’m tied with a few guys and it’s something I wasn’t aware of prior to some years back. I didn’t think of that coming in, playing this long anyway.”

Whether Carter decides to retire later this year or spends another season or two in the NBA, it sounds like he’s not necessarily eager to announce his decision well in advance and go through a year-long retirement tour, as Smith relays.

“It’s always cool to be acknowledged and I think it’s fun for me to do it for other guys, and then when I put myself in the same situation I say, ‘Hmm, we’ll see,'” Carter said. “I think, when it happens, more so internally and personally, it’s that you can say goodbye that way. It’s cool and all, but sometimes it’s a little much.”

Vince Carter Happy As Part Of Rebuilding Hawks

Unlike many veterans who prioritize winning a championship above all else as they approach retirement, Vince Carter has signed with rebuilding teams in each of the last two summers, joining the Hawks in 2018 after playing for Sacramento in 2017/18. Atlanta is off to a 5-18 start this season, but Carter has no regrets about joining the lottery-bound club, as Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press details.

“I’m with a great bunch of guys,” Carter said. “I enjoy helping young guys who want to learn, who are willing to be coached and let you coach them and ask questions. It’s a small thing, but it’s a major thing — because if you’re asking questions, that means you’re trying to learn and grow. And these guys are all great.”

Carter, who will turn 42 in January, hasn’t ruled out the possibility of trying to continue his career beyond 2018/19. If this ends up being his final season in the NBA though, he sounds content to finish out the year with the Hawks, rather than being traded to a team that could give him a chance to appear in the NBA Finals for the first time.

Following his signing with the Hawks, Carter explained that he still wanted to earn regular minutes and prove he could be a productive player, rather than sitting on the bench for a contender. So far this season, he has been solid in Atlanta, averaging 6.8 PPG in a part-time role, shooting 36.0% on three-pointers, while also providing guidance for the team’s youngsters.

“It’s easy to go sit on the bench and watch your team win and not really contribute,” Carter told Reynolds. “Yeah, with my voice, I could contribute. But I want to do both (contribute on and off the court).”

Carter will become trade-eligible on December 15, but there have been no indications yet that the Hawks intend to explore moving him.

Southeast Notes: Riley, Whiteside, M. Williams, Carter

Heat president Pat Riley told his players just before the season started that he was pulling out of trade talks with the Timberwolves involving Jimmy Butler, according to Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald. Riley held a team meeting October 14 in which he acknowledged that negotiations had been going on and apologized to players whose names became public in trade rumors. That was just days after the teams nearly completed a deal that would have sent a package that included Josh Richardson and a protected first-round pick to Minnesota. However, Riley didn’t guarantee that negotiations with the Wolves wouldn’t resume.

Today’s trade that sent Butler to the Sixers eliminates that as a possibility. With about $130MM in salary, Miami is hovering above the $123.7MM luxury tax threshold and would face a $9.7MM tax payment if the team can’t trim $6.3MM by the end of the season. Riley said Thursday that the team isn’t currently active on the trade market, but tax concerns may change that before the February deadline.

There’s more from the Southeast Division:

  • Heat center Hassan Whiteside, who has reportedly been on the trade block for several months, is “changing his mindset to be great,” teammate Bam Adebayo tells Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press. Whiteside posted his best game in a long time Wednesday with 29 points, 20 rebounds and nine blocked shots. “I think a lot of people had written me off,” Whiteside said. “That’s fine. I don’t need anybody’s justification. But I feel like if I do those things for myself, it’ll put me in the conversation of being an All-Star, being defensive player of the year.”
  • Marvin Williams says the players were thrilled this summer when they learned that Tony Parker was leaving the Spurs to join the Hornets as a free agent, writes Alex Kennedy of HoopsHype. Parker brought championship experience to Charlotte, having won four titles in San Antonio. “He’s so willing to teach everyone and he’s very patient with all of us,” Williams said. “He’s obviously been in certain situations that a lot of us haven’t been able to experience yet, so that knowledge and that wisdom really helps us.”
  • Williams believes the way the game has changed in recent years has helped the HawksVince Carter stay productive at age 41, relays Brendan Marks of The Charlotte Observer. Carter still displays his vertical leap on occasion, but he has prolonged his career with a deadly jump shot. “As the league has evolved, he’s almost benefited from it because he still can guard multiple positions, and he can still really shoot the lights out,” Williams said.

Southeast Notes: Carter, Heat, Winslow, Len

Vince Carter wants to go into broadcasting once his playing days are finished and has no desire to become an NBA coach, he told Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic. One of the reasons he joined the Hawks is that he’ll be in the same city as the headquarters of TNT.

“I enjoy coaching the game, but I don’t want to be a coach,” Carter said. “I think this is another way you can coach the game, but to a different crowd. Everybody watches the game and wonder why do they do this? I can give the inside look as an NBA player on what they think about, what they’re talking about, what teams are trying to accomplish while you’re watching the game.”

The fact that NBA coaches can get fired even if they’re successful is another reason why Carter would rather be a broadcaster.

We have more from the Southeast Division:

  • The Heat are unlikely to trade for a star player during the upcoming season, though they could dump some salary to avoid the luxury tax, Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel opines. The current roster doesn’t look strong enough to justify a bold move for a big-time player. Instead, it’s more likely the plan to return to prominence will center around 2020 free agency, Winderman adds.
  • The Heat ought to experiment with Justise Winslow, and Josh Richardson in various situations and positions to find out how they fit into the long-term picture, Winderman argues in another mailbag post. They could look at Winslow anywhere from a backup point to an undersized power forward. They could also take a similar approach with Richardson, even though he’s already signed an extension, Winderman adds.
  • Hawks center Alex Len will play for Ukraine’s national team in the FIBA World Cup qualifying tournament in September, according to the Ukrainian Federation. The news was tweeted by Olesandr Proshuta. Len hasn’t played for his national team since he left for the United States to play college ball at Maryland in 2011, Proshuta notes.

Southeast Notes: Robinson, Hornets, Wade, Carter

Despite being invited to participate with USA Basketball in its World Cup qualifying round games, Heat swingman Duncan Robinson has opted to remain in Miami for informal team workouts in the hopes of landing a standard NBA contract for the upcoming season, reports Ira Winderman of the Sun-Sentinel.

“I’m really proud in the fact that Duncan Robinson has been invited to play in the international series,” said Heat team president Pat Riley“but he decided to stay here because he wanted to make our team, he wants to force us into giving him a real (standard NBA) contract.”

Robinson, 24, signed a two-way contract with the Heat on July 10th that would limit him to 45 days in the NBA this coming season and maximum earnings of about $385K, per Winderman. A standard NBA contract at the rookie minimum would pay Robinson just north of $838K.

Robinson says that his goal in passing over the opportunity to play for Team USA is to maximize his opportunities in the Heat developmental program. “I mean the margin between having this job or being overseas or being in the G League, whatever it might be, is so thin,” Robinson said. “And I understand that. I understand I caught some breaks and was able to put myself in a situation to be successful. I’m certainly thankful for that.”

There’s more today out of the Southeast Division:

  • The Hornets have struggled to attract big name free agents since the franchise returned to North Carolina in 2004, but Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer doesn’t think it has as much to do with the city of Charlotte itself as it has to do with the team’s lack of cap space. Per Bonnell, money is the No. 1 factor in free agency and, unfortunately, the Hornets don’t have significant space under the salary cap now or in the immediate future.
  • In another piece for the Sun-Sentinel, Winderman opines that Riley is fully committed to signing Wade to a free agent contract this summer, luxury tax concerns be darned. Riley’s greater concern would be Wade’s level of commitment. Per Winderman, Riley would likely want a commitment from Wade that this season isn’t simply a retirement tour, but that Wade is seriously interested in making the Heat a better team.
  • While Vince Carter could have spurned the Hawks and signed with a serious title contender this offseason, he tells Chris Vivlamore of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that such a quest is “not his style.” Rather, Carter will be relied upon to be a veteran influence over the youthful roster Atlanta has assembled. “Let them see me and let them see how annoying I can be, but in a good way,” Carter said during an introductory press conference. “I’m going to stay in their ear. At least you know at any time throughout the year, whether it’s practice games, any situation, they will have me to fall back on. Or I’ll come up to them and help them out any way I can.”

Vince Carter: I Have A Young Guy’s Mentality

In what could be Vince Carter‘s final NBA season, the two-decade veteran signed a one-year deal with the Hawks. The soon-to-be 42-year-old is the oldest active player in the NBA and is joining his fourth team in six seasons.

“I love to play, man. I have a young guy’s mentality with a 40-year-old body,” Carter said, per The Associated Press (via ESPN).

Last season with the Kings, Carter played nearly 18 minutes per night and averaged 5.4 PPG in 58 games. He has not been a starter since the 2011/12 season, instead transitioning into the effective veteran off the bench role.

The Hawks reportedly signed the eight-time All-Star to be a mentor to a young team in Atlanta. Even so, Carter said his goal is to prove that he can still be a productive player despite his age.

“I know playing this game that the media and the fans and people can be cruel,” Carter said. “It’s like, ‘You’re old and you’re playing against guys half your age. You shouldn’t be out here.’ But then for me that is my goal, to prove that I’m able to do that. And I put in a lot of work in mentally as well as physically just preparing myself.”

A former Rookie of the Year (1999), Carter’s career has included nearly every possible phase. He’s been the sensational rookie, perennial All-Star, dependable veteran and now, a seasoned asset with 21 years of NBA experience. Despite that, Carter still believes he can contribute when called upon.

“I’m still the same person,” Carter said. “My approach is still the same. My work ethic, my ability to play the game is still the same. Obviously it’s limited. You just don’t get to see it as much, but it’s the same guy.”

Hawks Sign Vince Carter

AUGUST 24: Nearly a month after agreeing to terms with the Hawks, Carter has officially signed his one-year contract with the team, tweets Chris Vivlamore of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Atlanta now has 15 players on guaranteed contracts for the 2018/19 season.

[RELATED: Vince Carter likely to retire after 2018/19 season]

JULY 25: Vince Carter has reached agreement on a one-year deal with the Hawks, tweets Michael Scotto of The Athletic. Carter will receive a veteran’s minimum contract worth $2.4MM, adds Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link).

The deal guarantees a 21st season for Carter, who will turn 42 in January. The oldest active NBA player, he spent last season with the Kings, playing about 18 minutes per night and averaging 5.4 PPG in 58 games.

The Hawks envision Carter as a mentor who will be a strong locker room leader for a young roster, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link).

After six years of playing for contenders in Dallas and Memphis, this is Carter’s second straight signing for a team that has little chance of making the postseason.

A return to the Raptors, where Carter began his NBA career in 1998, might have made a nice story, but it appears unlikely to ever happen, tweets Josh Lewenberg of TSN Sports. Lewenberg adds that Carter has gotten opportunities to come back to Toronto, but hasn’t followed through.

The Hawks have used up virtually all of their cap space after completing their acquisition of Carmelo Anthony earlier today, and have committed most of their room exception to Alex Len. As such, it made sense that Carter would receive a minimum-salary contract — it’s all Atlanta could offer.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Southeast Notes: Hamilton, Carter, Howard, Wade

After two years of being a fringe player for Oklahoma City, Daniel Hamilton is excited about the opportunity that awaits him with the Hawks, writes Chris Vivlamore of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The 23-year-old shooting guard signed this week and hopes to become part of a young core in Atlanta.

“They just told me to come in and be the best version of me I can be,” he said. “… facilitating, getting teammates better. Knocking down the open shot. Playing defense. Being able to guard different positions. Just being versatile. Versatility is my biggest asset.”

The Nuggets took Hamilton with the 56th pick in 2016 and traded him to the Thunder on draft night. He spent his entire first season in the G League, then signed a two-way deal last year that saw him play just six games at the NBA level.

“It went by fast but it felt like a long journey,” Hamilton said. “… There are different levels to it. Each and every level, I get tougher. That’s why I train and put the work in, to be prepared for moments like this.”

There’s more from the Southeast Division:

  • Nearly a month after Vince Carter committed to joining the Hawks, his official signing will take place tomorrow, Vivlamore tweets. The 41-year-old has said he expects this to be his final NBA season.
  • Stan Van Gundy, who coached Dwight Howard during his rise to stardom with the Magic, says it has been difficult to witness what has happened to him in recent years. Howard, who signed with the Wizards after being traded by the Hornets and bought out by the Nets this summer, will start his third consecutive season with a new team. “It changed on Dwight quickly and it’s been not a lot of fun to watch from the outside because this guy was the best centers in the game for a long time,” Van Gundy said in a video posted by The Orlando Sentinel.
  • If Dwyane Wade returns to the Heat, his contract could range from the $2.4MM veteran’s minimum to the $5.3MM mid-level exception, and the difference would be significant for the team, notes Ira Winderman of The Sun-Sentinel.  With tax penalties, a $5.3MM salary would cost the Heat $14.2MM and move them into the second level of the tax multiplier. A minimum salary would carry a total cost of $3.8MM and make it easier for Miami to escape the tax with a trade later in the season. “I don’t think this is about negotiating a mid-level or dollars,” team president Pat Riley said. “It’s about getting Dwyane back. It’s not really about the tax right now. Even though we have a tax situation, we’ll work our way around that.”