Why the Washington Wizards Should Consider Signing Vince Carter

Washington Wizards Vince Carter (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
Washington Wizards Vince Carter (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) /

After 21 seasons in the NBA, Vince Carter has announced that the 2019-20 season will be his last. Here’s why the Washington Wizards should sign him.

Without spending a ton of money, there’s a chance the Washington Wizards could sign a big name this summer.

In his own words, the great Vince Carter will be calling it quits after one final season. Earlier this week, the greatest dunker in the history of the NBA joined The Jump and told Rachel Nichols he will finally be calling it a career after what will be 22 seasons. The Hall of Fame forward is 42 years old.

While Carter may have decided he wants to play for another year, where exactly he’ll be suiting up is still a question. Carter, who spent last season with the Atlanta Hawks, is set to hit free agency on July 1.

According to oddsmakers at Odds Shark, the Toronto Raptors have the best chance of landing Carter for his farewell tour. Even Carter, himself, alluded to one day returning to the team where everything started.

But while it would be fun to see Carter return to Toronto, or be the veteran presence on a contender, it’d also be pretty fun to see him spend his final season in DC. And why not?! He’d join legends like Michael Jordan and Paul Pierce (and Dwight Howard?) who also spent time in Washington past their primes. That’s pretty good company.

But seriously, Carter could be a great offseason pickup for the Wizards.

Affordable Veteran

Before free agency even begins, the Wizards are already flirting with the luxury tax with less than half a dozen players under contract for next season. Acquiring decent pieces for cheap is paramount, and Carter, although a legend on his final tour, will probably be just that.

Carter signed with the Hawks for the minimum last season, costing them just $2.4 million. It’s unclear exactly what the market for Carter will be, but his price tag almost certainly won’t break the bank.

At 42, he may seem like an injury liability. And while there’s no way to predict the future, his playing history doesn’t suggest he’ll be missing too much time. Carter’s been fairly durable throughout his career, playing in less than 60 games just three times.

Last season, Carter appeared in 76 games for the Hawks and even started nine times. He averaged 7.4 points, 2.6 rebounds, and 1.1 assists per game with an effective field goal percentage (efg%) of 0.550 during that time.

Much like he was for the Hawks, Carter could serve as a veteran presence in Washington. Although Bradley Beal and John Wall are no longer the young, up and coming guards they used to be, the team that’s currently under contract is pretty young and needs leadership.

…And Why Not?!

Honestly, next season is largely lost before it even begins. Without the money to make any huge improvements to the roster via free agency, the Wizards probably won’t be able to compete at a playoff level next season. They were chasing the 8th seed all season last year, and with Wall staring at a long absence, they’ll likely be just as (un)competitive next year.

If they’re not going to make the playoffs, at least make it fun! Carter could be a cheap, serviceable piece coming off the bench. He’d be a one-year rental that would be off books by next summer when they have a healthy John Wall and a better vision for the future.

Next. Can the Washington Wizards Trade John Wall?. dark

And he’d come with a farewell tour! It might not have the same fanfare that one-team lifers like Kobe Bryant, Dirk Nowitzki, and Dwyane Wade (the not-so Heat lifer), but Carter would definitely come with some built-in excitement. He’s not jumping over seven-footers anymore or grabbing the rim with his elbow, but Vinsanity’s final chapter will certainly bring out fans of all types.

Why not have him wearing Wizards red, white and blue for his last run?!