Trade Winds Aside, Carter Happy in Dallas

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DALLAS – Vince Carter threw down a spectacular two-handed reverse jam launched from a baseline drive, a series of  improbable, gravity-defying maneuvers that seemed to unfold in slow motion and even astonished the 36-year-old who made it happen.

“It was an out-of-body experience I guess. It surprised me,” Carter said, smiling. “I can’t remember the last time I dunked a ball backwards. I think the last time J-Kidd threw me a lob in New Jersey.”

It was one of two highlight reel dunks for Carter, who crafted another sensational outing with 17 points, three assists and three rebounds in 25 minutes off the bench. His efficient scoring included three 3-pointers — one that finally provided some separation at 88-84 with 6:19 to go — and a 22-foot dagger with 26.9 seconds left that sealed a 106-99 win for the Dallas Mavericks over the Portland Trail Blazers Wednesday night.

Carter, who celebrated his birthday on Jan. 26, is in the midst of a majestic run that should — but likely won’t — put him in the conversation as a top sixth man, and will continue to remind contenders that Vinsanity is turning back the clock on a near-nightly basis.

This performance came while he still battled an illness that had him so congested that he struggled to breathe and left him shivering on the bench. It had knocked him totally out of Monday’s blowout loss at Oklahoma City and dragged him to the doctor on Tuesday.

Over his last eight games, Carter has averaged 17.6 points on 49.0 percent field-goal shooting and 45.0 percent from beyond the arc. At the start of this run he poured in a season-high 29 points in a heartbreak, overtime loss to Oklahoma City. After that game, coach Rick Carlisle bristled at a question about rising demand for the veteran.

“A couple days later he pulled me aside and said all the trade rumors, because I didn’t know much about it, he said it’s not going to happen,” Carter told NBA.com after Wednesday’s win that pushed Dallas’ record to to 21-28 as it began a massively important run of seven of its next eight games at home.

“I’m happy where I am. I feel like my role here is needed,” Carter continued. “It’s a perfect position as a mentor, as a player, as a spark. I’m OK with that. I feel like for me, if they need me to start I’ll do it. If they need me to come off the bench, I’ll do it. I’m still going to play my same game and be effective. I’m a team guy and I want to see our team have success.”

There’s no doubt that teams are and will inquire about Carter’s availability. Dallas reportedly didn’t get involved as a third team in the Memphis-Toronto trade that sent Rudy Gay to the Raptors because it wouldn’t part with Carter. Detroit took the role and acquired point guard Jose Calderon from Toronto.

A league source Wednesday characterized the odds of Dallas moving Carter by the Feb. 21 as a “long shot.”

Which Carter said suits him just fine, despite the Mavs needing a significant run just to get into playoff contention.

Carter signed a three-year contract with the Mavs prior to the lockout-shortened 2011-12 season as part of the franchise’s retooling following the 2011 championship. His hopes of helping Dallas repeat didn’t materialize, but he had found a good fit. When the club decided to bring him back this season at $3.1 million, it fully guaranteed his final season next year at $3.2 million.

Carter’s contract is certainly attractive, but with Dallas uninterested in taking back salary and unlikely to net a major asset, there’s little reason to trade him when the club still believes it can make a push into playoff contention.

“There’s a reason he’s such an important guy to us,” Carlisle said following Wednesday’s win. “People key on his offensive stuff, but he’s just a big team guy. He’s one of our leaders.”

Two seasons ago with Phoenix, Carter’s career seemed to be closing quickly as his production continually dropped.

“Sometimes you get on a team where your talent isn’t needed, utilized,” Carter said. “This is a different type of offense here. I don’t know, I felt pretty good then and I will say I do feel even better. I put my work in after that summer because it kind of bothered me to even hear somebody think that or say it at that point in time because I still felt at that point physically able to contribute, to be effective for any team.”

And now as the rumors might fly, Carter reiterated that chasing a title at this stage in his career is not his top priority.

“If it [a trade] happens, it happens, I mean it’s nothing you can control, but I leave that for them [the Mavs' front office],” Carter said. “And they know, I’ve talked to them, they know, I’ve said to them before, I’m satisfied here. They’ve accepted me with open arms, given me an opportunity to be who I am, do what I do and kind of help our team, our players grow while being the player I am.”

19 Comments

  1. Shane says:

    The video they uploaded is a one handed dunk that wasn’t dunked, Cmon NBA.COM I expect better. Are you guys hiring? I could upload NBA videos for fun with no mistakes all day!!!!

  2. celtics says:

    What’s the point of bringing him back to Toronto. He is not as good as he used to be and Toronto will just waste money on him.

  3. RAPTORSFAN1 says:

    @ANTHONY, you are obviously not understanding the whole concept of maturity. Raptors fans have gotten over his past mistakes, and Carter is not a young star with everything anymore. Theres nothing wrong with second chances. Some people in the basketball world think one day Lebron James might go back and play in Cleveland before he retires, yes ppl hated the ”Decision” but trust me, one day Cavs fans will be over it and understand he was a kid that made a hard decision in the dumbest way possible. Any mature person can understand these concepts. Not many people get to be 20 years old with the entire world staring at their every move while being paid millions to play basketball and bang groupies. So it’s kind of understandable to see why some of these guys don’t know how to deal with it, not everybody can have the level of maturity of say a Kevin Durant. Anyways, my main point was that with his new mentality, Carter deserves the chance to come back to the Raptors for a short term low salary deal, and the Raptors and Raptors fans deserve to have him give it his all and help the teams young players grow, while continuing to push basketball in the city that gave him the chance to become a star.

  4. JR says:

    As other people commented, it’s nice to go back to your roots – Toronto Raptors. For sure they will more than HAPPy to accept him back since the Raptors were put in blueprint of NBA because of his showcase talented skills.

    I followed him eversince because of the HIGH GLOSS tactics he amzed (including Dr. J. MJ. Clyde D)….

    It’s nice to give back to the fans who gave him glory. He should be a nice mentor to Derozan.

  5. Richard from New Jersey says:

    Since 2006 I loved Vince Carter, my favorite player and always wanted him to win a ring, I thought that dream would come true in ORLANDO but things just didn’t happen, I agree with ( Zgillet ) a comment above that it would be great to see him in a contender team like, maybe ,HEAT,THUNDER but his talents wont be seen and they wont have much use for him being in DALLAS he seems really happy and playing really great basketball…………my point is as a fan for 7 years a ring for VC would be great but like VC said chasing title is not his top priority. I would rather see Vince Carter player 25-30 minutes a game being impotant then watch be in a championship team and play 10-18 mins as a role player . I hope this made sence, I change my mind I would choose the championship team …maybe

  6. rokec says:

    Mavs should keep VC, Matrix and O.J.!! Those three guys HAVE to stay in Dallas!! They are very important to this team!! Dallas needs one true big man down there and that’s all!! And of course that all of them are healthy! GO MAVS!!

  7. Mitchell says:

    ^LOL @ that troll “Volourn”. what consitutes “Treating a player like trash” Letting him take his time coming back from his “Injuries” or trading him away for nothing at his request? Do some research or atleast pretend to know what your talking about when you form sentences using your keyboard……what a joke…..

  8. Volourn says:

    Toronto treated him like trash like they do all their stars. That’s why the Raps are ahorrible franchise. All players 0- star or othwerwise – should avoid that place and their pathetic fans if at all possible.

  9. jake says:

    trade collison and carter for josh smith!!!

  10. HMH says:

    Winning a championships has never been a priority for him!

  11. chubbena says:

    it’s all forgiven. Come back to Toronto.

  12. Francis says:

    stupid site

  13. zgillet says:

    I would actually love to see him traded to a contender. It pains me to see his talent wasted on bottom-feeders like New Jersey (then), Pheonix, and Dallas.

    • Huh? says:

      One bad season in the past decade and Dallas is now a bottom-feeder? If that’s the case, why aren’t you throwing the Laker’s under that category as well? It pains me to see ignorance on a topic that involves basketball.

  14. RAPTORSFAN1 says:

    I really disliked the way he left Toronto, and was never a fan of his since. He left us with nothing, those teams we had could have won a championship if it wasn’t for Vince and Tracy being so selfish, if Bosh comes along when he did we could have had a better Big 3 than any team out there today. I still hate how things turned out, but years later, seeing how McGrady and Carter’s careers turned out , hearing them talk about the chances they had you can tell they have many regrets. Now with Carter’s maturity I think getting him back to the Raptors would be great. He would have a chance to give back to the fans he once screwed over, he would be able to finish his career in the city he will always be most remembered. Carter could also have a huge role on the Raptors, mentoring Derozan, Ross, and even maybe helping Rudy Gay get to that next level, he would have purpose. Rather than playing on a Mavs team that dumps players regularly just because, he could actually continue his legacy with the Raptors, and be remembered. One day he would have his jersey in the rafters.

    • inter says:

      Great comment! Returning back to Toronto could help finishing some open business.

      • anthony says:

        why would Toronto want him back? He said publicly that he didn’t put any effort in playing for Toronto. If he came back, would he actually “play hard” for Toronto, or just take the pay cheque and play without the “play hard” attitude

  15. amertoday says:

    ” [Carter] hopes of helping Dallas repeat didn’t materialize “. The guy should have come to Dallas a year earlier.

  16. amertoday says:

    ” [Carter] hopes of helping Dallas repeat didn’t materialize “. Unproductive bet, he should have come to Dallas a year earlier.