This off-season may be one of the biggest for the Oklahoma City Thunder, and while the front office continues their search for an explosive high scoring partner-in-crime for Russ, it’d also be wise to bring in an experienced veteran.
At 40-years-old, Vince Carter is probably not the name that pops up in your head when thinking of the 2017 free agency period. Instead, Carter may be considered to be of the names leaving us in this year’s retirement class. But after nearly 20 years in the league, Carter is still fully capable of putting up a fight, and has repetitively shown he’s still got some fuel left.
Coming off of his multi-year deal with the Grizzlies, Carter will be available to the likes of any team bearing offers during this free agency period.
And since Carter has yet to make a formal decision to hang up the jersey, he may just be a well-suited candidate to play his final minutes in Oklahoma.
Obviously this idea is HIGHLY fanciful, and most likely will never happen, thus leaving my years of dreaming to see the Vincanity in a blue-and-orange Thunder jersey left unfulfilled. But just like any case of my fabricated, highly-unrealistic scenarios, there’s a rhyme to my reason, and the Thunder could actually make use of the vet.
As of now, the Thunder are extremely limited for veteran players to make a change in scoring or leading the second squad of young chaps.
Nick Collison, the last member of the Thunder originating from the Sonics, contributes his time to the mentor-ship and leading the underclassmen to a point at which they will be comfortable taking over the floor when Russ, Robes, and the other main scorers step off.
Taj Gibson, who manages to play a leadership role with indoctrinating the second lineup, while also being a focal point for scoring in the Thunder’s big lineup, unfortunately enters free agency this summer.
It’s surely no news that OKC scored with the late season trade for Gibson and McDermott, and while both contributed to the Thunder’s regular season success, the Thunder’s cap space will be limited this summer.
This being said, the Thunder should have Gibson on the higher tiers of their priority list due to his capability of converting with the starting lineup as well as providing a veteran role to the newcomers, but it may just not be realistic to keep him this summer.
Last season, 29 teams shot better from three than OKC, and 25 teams hit more triples than the Thunder. I'm honestly surprised to see that Russ & Co. were only outscored by 92 points from behind the three-point line.
It felt like other teams rained treys on the Thunder with impunity.
Basically, outside of the wonky defensive rotations, the dearth of quality three-point shooting across the roster doomed many a possession for the Oklahoma squad; too often, Russ (34%) and Oladipo (36%) were the only semblance of three-point threats on the floor.
Healthy Dipo, a more seasoned Abrines, and a full year of Doug McDermott should open up the lane a bit, but adding a vet like Vince Carter sure wouldn't hurt.
At 40-years-old, the bounce may be diminished, but VC's shooting has held up remarkably well. The Grizzlies were dead last in three pointers made and attempted the year prior to Carter's arrival; fast forward three years to this past season, and Memphis finished 15th and 14th, respectively. Carter's vet savvy and willingness to let fly from deep were a big part of that improvement.
VC will never be a Ray Allen level sniper, but as a low volume, spot minute rotation player in the second unit, he wouldn't have to be. Carter drained 37.8% of his threes last year, which would have slotted him just behind Abrines as the 2nd best shooter (by percentage) among the current Thunder rotation players. And while he's no longer "Half Man, Half Amazing" Vince, capable of levitation-like aerial attacks, he can still catch defenses napping from time to time and be effective attacking off the bounce. For a team desperate for any scoring punch it can get, the presence of Carter could be the catalyst to compliment OKC's middle of the pack bench scoring and bottom of the barrel shooting.
And while Carter was never ever a defensive stopper, the fact that he was able to log almost 25 minutes a night for the seventh ranked Grizz defense speaks volumes about his ability to contain and be a smart, physical defender in spurts. And perhaps most importantly, VC would bring almost 20 years of vet know-how to one of the youngest teams in the NBA, assisting resident old man Nick Collison in the molding of young professionals.
So what do you say, is Oklahoma City a realistic destination for Vince "Half Man, Half Amazing" Carter?
This poll is closed
Hell yes! Vince would compliment OKC’s playstyle perfectly.
No way. Vince is staying in Memphis.
Carter’s career has come to it’s end—it’s time he retires.
VC would perform better among a different roster than OKC’s.
Guest writer James Holas is a contributor at BBallBreakDown and talks on both PressBasketball’s Away Team and the AlmightyBaller’s The Truth Podcast. You can find his column here.