Vince Carter announced earlier in the offseason that he planned to retire after the 2019-20 season, his 22nd in the NBA. The only problem with that plan is that a month into free agency, Carter hasn't found a new home yet. That doesn't necessarily mean that he won't land somewhere next season. After all, it wasn't until August 24th last year that he signed with the Atlanta Hawks, so teams are not done adding talent.
But roster spots are growing scarcer around the NBA, and in a conference call promoting the Jr. NBA Global Championship, Carter said that he hoped to have a better idea about his future "in the next few days," and that for now, he is being patient about the process.
Still, Carter has paid close attention to the market. As Alex Kennedy of HoopsHype transcribed, Carter described this offseason as "insane" and said "I don't think there's been anything like this. I mean, I think we had 206 players who were free agents and 40 percent of players moved." That degree of specificity is interesting to say the least.
While Carter has built a budding media career for himself that will certainly include this sort of analysis after his retirement, it would be naive to assume that he was not comparing some of the players that have signed this offseason with himself. He knows how many players were vying for jobs, and now he is still standing with most slots full.
Carter played well in a limited role last season. He shot nearly 39 percent from three-point range in over 17 minutes per game, and while age has kept him from playing great defense, his basketball IQ after more than two decades in the league at least gets him to the right spots on the floor.
Further, he has spent the past two seasons playing for rebuilding teams, serving as a mentor for prospects on the Atlanta Hawks and Sacramento Kings. Even as teams seek out younger talent, Carter's position as a nurturer of that youth should keep him in the league for one last season. A team willing to give him the chance to do so hasn't presented itself yet, but it took until late August to get Carter a contract last summer. If he follows the timeline he's hoping for, he'll have a new time far sooner than that this time around.