Hanging on to Vince Carter instead of swapping him for Jose Calderon was a smart move for the Dallas Mavericks.
Rumors swirled the third team involved in the deal that sent Rudy Gay north of the border could have involved Carter finding a new home with the Memphis Grizzlies. After receiving Calderon in part of the package for Gay, the Grizzlies would have turned around and dealt him to Dallas for Carter in order to fill the void left by Gay’s departure.
From Memphis’ point of view, the deal made a ton of sense, the veteran Carter would have added leadership to a playoff team while providing limited drop off on the defensive end. He’s certainly nowhere near the athlete he used to be when he was the explosive wing playing in Canada, but his offensive contributions wouldn’t have been a significant drop off either.
January has been Carter’s best month this season as the 14-year veteran has averaged 14.1 points, 4.3 rebounds and 2.5 assists to begin 2013. As previously mentioned, he’s not what he used to be but he is far from an unproductive player and that is exactly why Dallas chose to hang on to him.
Calderon would have been a valuable addition and has been on the Mavericks radar for some time, however the loss of Carter would have created too big of a void. Both players will see their contract expire at the end of the season, so it’s not like the move would have had any cap impact on Dallas’ summer plans.
The main concern is that the Mavericks, who are still in the playoff race, would have nobody to replace Carter on the wing. The team already has Darren Collison and Roddy Beaubois but Calderon would be an upgrade over both of them. Unfortunately, the upgrade at point guard would have left Dallas with basically only O.J. Mayo on the perimeter along with three point guards. The Mavericks could have chosen to move one of their current guards to make room for Calderon but there was no point given they are happy with Carter’s play.
That’s not to say Carter won’t be moved before the deadline as his name will remain in rumors. Plenty of teams see the value in adding Carter to help a potential playoff run and for the right piece Dallas will move him. It’ll have to be something that helps the team in future seasons as they won’t move him for the sake of moving him or risk taking on a bad contract.
His name will be mentioned often in the next month, but one thing is for sure, Carter isn’t going to Memphis any time soon.
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