Vince Carter surprised Travis Schlenk.
Not just because of the way the 42-year old played in his NBA-record tying 21st season. Carter averaged 7.4 points, 2.6 rebounds, 1.1 assists and 17.5 minutes in 76 games in his first season with the Hawks last year. The Hawks brought Carter on board with a one-year deal to be a role model and mentor to a locker room of young players.
He did that and more, according to Schlenk.
Carter said this week that he will play a 22nd season. He said at his exit interview at the end of the season last month that he will give the Hawks the first chance to re-sign him.
Schlenk said Friday that is a possibility.
“I didn’t know Vince going into this season,” Schlenk said. “We had heard all the stuff that he was a great mentor and a great guy in the locker room. I’ve got to tell you, he really was unbelievable with our young guys. He’s been in the league for 21 years now. When you have guy who’s been at the top of the league to go to being a role player/mentor, you just don’t see that often. To have their ego stay in check. He fully embraces it. He was really big for us. We have to see how everything plays out this summer but I certainly wouldn’t have a problem if he was a member of the Hawks either.”
* Taurean Prince is eligible for a rookie contract extension in July. Schlenk said he spoke with Prince’s agent on Thursday and talks will increase when a deal is eligible to be made. Schlenk said he considers Prince one of the team’s core players.
* The Hawks will only participate in the Las Vegas Summer League this year. Last year, they played in summer leagues in Salt Lake City and Las Vegas.
* Trae Young and Kevin Huerter will not participate in summer league. The two first-round picks will be with the team for preparations in July. “They’ve played enough,” Schlenk said.
* Omari Spellman, the Hawks other first-round pick last year, will play in the summer league as he returns from injury.
* Schlenk said Kent Bazemore has already picked up his player option, worth $19.3 million, for next season. He did so shortly after the regular-season ended.
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