Friday , Jul , 22 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Can Vince Carter help a contender?

Vince Carter may realize that his time in Phoenix is pretty much up – how short it was – but he still wants to play ball. Not overseas.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: It’s no slam dunk that the former Slam Dunk Champion can average 12-15 points per night for a contender.

Right now, Vince Carter is an unrestricted free agent. Some feel ‘Half-Man, Half-Amazing’ can re-invent himself as a second-unit, game-changer for a contender.

I’m not so sure, though.

On a contender, everybody defends. No exceptions. Any contender would have reservations about adding a one-way scorer, like Carter, who resembles a statue in his own end.

Those who don’t defend on contenders –again, like Carter – find themselves on the bench. They stay on that bench for the season. They only play in a blowout or a pinch.

If Carter can’t get on the floor for meaningful minutes, how can he average 12-15 points per night for a contender?

Let’s suppose, for a minute, Carter gets a chance to prove his worth at training camp. He struggled to score with the up-and-down Phoenix Suns, even though defense was optional and Steve Nash, the league’s great playmaker, was setting-the-table.

With a contender, he won’t be a first, second, or third option. And Carter, in recent years, has stopped attacking the hoop, settling for fall-away shots, weak drives, and long-range jumpers.

The coaching staffs of contending teams know this. Or they’ll quickly discover this. So do the league’s best players. They’ll all tire of him quickly.

For Carter, it may be a one year deal for the minimum with a small market or nothing. Yes, nothing. The NBA’s great enigma will continue fading to black.

–Oly Sandor.

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