Vince Carter can still ball, and the Minnesota Timberwolves should be taking a long, hard look at adding the veteran wing to their squad.
Vince Carter, otherwise known as Half-Man, Half-Amazing, is 42 years old. He also shot 38.9 percent from long distance last season for the Atlanta Hawks.
In related news, the Minnesota Timberwolves are still looking for scoring and long-range shooting off their bench. Carter played last season on the veteran’s minimum, and if he is willing to do the same, he could come in and provide bench scoring and much needed mentorship for a few Wolves players, including Andrew Wiggins and Josh Okogie.
Carter is a great fit for the Minnesota Timberwolves. Recently, he went on ESPN’s show ‘The Jump’ and declared he’s got one more season left in him.
Carter turns 43 next year and if he is able to latch on to a team would become the first player in NBA history to play in the league for 22 years. He’d also be the first to play in four different decades, provided he sees the floor in the year 2020.
With Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns making up nearly 50 percent of the team’s allotted cap space, the Wolves don’t have much wiggle room in free agency unless they can unload the albatross contract of Gorgui Dieng.
Carter would not only stabilize the youth in the locker room, he would provide a veteran presence that commands respect and will help the young players grow.
Even at 42, Carter can still flat out ball. Carter posted the second-highest True Shooting Percentage (takes into account 2-point field goals, 3-point fields and free throws) of his career at 56.5 percent. In 76 games last year including nine starts, Carter averaged 7.4 points per game on 41.9% field goal shooting for the Hawks.
As the NBA has evolved, so has Carter’s game, which in some ways is hard to believe coming from a guy who has nicknames including ‘Half-Man, Half-Amazing’ and ‘Air Canada’. Carter is one of the game’s all-time best dunkers and has made a living putting others on posters.
However, he’s become an absolute lethal shooter that has allowed him to prolong his career in the NBA. On 2-pointers, of which were only 32.5 percent of his shot attempts in 2018-19, Carter shot 48 percent from the field. Of Carter’s overall field goal attempts, only 7.1 percent came from 3-10 feet and 6.4 percent came from 10-16 feet.
Carter stayed away from the dreaded long 2-pointers; most of Carter’s field goal attempts (67.5 percent) came from long distance, where he shot 38.9 percent on the season.
Gone are the days when Carter would throw down some of the flashiest dunks, but he’s become a great catch-and-shoot player and now ranks sixth all-time in 3-pointers made in NBA history. With a usage rate of just 16.7 percent, Carter still managed to contribute 1.9 Win Shares last season according to Basketball-Reference.com, which is three times better than Wiggins’ mark of 0.6 win shares.
More than the stats, Carter provides leadership the Wolves sorely need and severely lacked last season. For someone like Wiggins, who in some ways resembles the youthful Toronto Raptors’ version of Carter, being around ‘Air Canada’ could actually have a great impact.
Atlanta Hawks players — and particularly Trae Young — have only had positive things to say about Carter’s work ethic and impression he’s left on them.
The path Wiggins is on means that his NBA career could truly fizzle out by his early 30s. Wiggins needs to be a more efficient player, he’s got to defend better, knock down open jumpers, be more aggressive, take the ball to the rim, and get to the free throw line more often.
Adding Carter to the mix would greatly benefit Wiggins and the Timberwolves, and it shouldn’t cost them anything more than the veteran’s minimum salary.