If Vince Carter is bought out of his NBA contract with the Kings before March 1, expect Carter to join an Eastern Conference contender – either the Celtics or Raptors.
The Celtics have already signed Greg Monroe on the NBA buyout market, but are now looking for a swingman to bolster their bench.
“We can have as many guys as we want as long as long as they are minimum salary players,” Celtics boss Danny Ainge told NBC Sports Boston. “Last year there was a player that really wanted to come play for us, and we recruited him a little bit. He chose another team, it didn’t work out really well. Ya know, we had PJ Brown in 2008, he was a key guy for us. We had Sam Cassell and Michael Finley … Stephon Marbury. We’ve had a lot of guys who have come through [via the buyout].”
Sense is that the Kings would work with Carter on a buyout if a tempting potential landing spot emerges between now and March 1 but their hope is that he elects to stay https://t.co/TISYtWxtNK
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) February 9, 2018
Carter is still an excellent shooter and he’s far from a push-over on the defensive end despite his advanced age. Those are two areas the Celtics would like to address as they are still missing the sharp-shooting of Gordon Hayward and have – defensively – looked weak in recent weeks.
In terms of playing time, Carter would likely see more opportunities for minutes in Boston than with the Raptors (at least in the playoffs). Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum are the Celtics’ second and third leading scorers but both are extremely young. Boston needs a veteran presence on the wing in the playoffs and Carter would provide that.
Carter’s return to the Raptors has been teased for several months (and Carter went so far to say as he wants it to happen), but the 41-year-old plays the same position as the Raptors’ best player in DeMar DeRozan. DeRozan is not coming off the floor in the postseason, so if Carter truly covets PT over nostalgia – Boston would actually be the better fit.