Vince Carter may be a little bit over the hump, but he can still be a valuable role player as the Dallas Mavericks saw in their most recent postseason series against the San Antonio Spurs. Carter hit many big shots for the team, even a game-winner. Carter’s ability to stretch the floor while still being able to play above-average defense all while providing veteran leadership makes him a key piece for a team hoping to contend for a title. Dallas did not re-sign Carter, so he decided to take his talents elsewhere.
The Memphis Grizzlies signed Carter to a three-year, $12 million deal Saturday night, and the deal could really pay huge dividends for the Grizzlies in the postseason.
The Grizzlies struggle to hit outside shots as it is, and with free agent forward Mike Miller looking like he will not return to the team, Memphis needed to go out and find a veteran shooter to replace him. Carter is a perfectly capable replacement, as evidenced in his last playoff series against the Spurs when he shot 48.4% from the three-point line — which is almost absurd, especially in the playoffs. If Carter can be a marksman like that for the Grizzlies come postseason time, then the team will be one step closer to competing for a title.
Carter is also responsible with the ball, as he does not commit many turnovers and usually makes the right play with the ball in his hands, be it on a pass or on a shot. Decision making is something that young players can sometimes struggle with, and even though point guard Mike Conley does not have too much more to learn in that department, he can still benefit from learning from Carter about how to truly excel on offense as well as some of the younger players on the team such as Jordan Adams. Adams is a talented scorer, but if he can get the opportunity to work with Carter and refine his ball-handling skills and shooting stroke, then that could make a huge difference in his career going forward. Any time a player can get the chance to work with a potential Hall-of-Famer, the opportunity should be taken advantage of.
If Carter still has one more year left in him where he can contribute at a high level in a minimized role, then he will prove to be one of the bigger pick-ups for the Grizzlies in recent memory. If he fails to meet expectations and shows his age next season, however, then the signing will have been one huge gamble for a team that is looking to establish itself as a bonafide contender. Nevertheless, I believe this was a good gamble for a Grizzlies team that is simply that desperate for efficient shooting. Carter does not compromise the team’s defensive mindset due to his high basketball IQ and team defensive capabilities, so the signing should pay off in the end for the team.
Nathan Grubel is a Memphis Grizzlies writer for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @The_Only_Grubes, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.