The Hawks’ revamped roster may make it difficult for the team to bring back Vince Carter next season.
While it's still possible that Carter could play an NBA-record 22nd season with the Hawks, the soon-to-be free agent likely will have options. Carter has said he wants to play one more season. He has also said he likes to give his current team the first chance at reaching a new deal. The way the 42-year old played last season, if it's not the Hawks, Carter should have offers.
The issue for the Hawks is their roster will have 14 players (plus a two-way) under contract — after some draft-related trades are official and rookie contracts signed. There is an abundance of wing players and several bigs who can play power forward, the position head coach used Carter at most of last season.
“There is always a place for Vince in terms of that leadership and what he brings,” Pierce said. “Vince, his role this next year wherever he ends up, is not about being the guy. It’s still the same role. It’s being able to show he’s got a little left in the tank. But more importantly when he came here last year it was ‘what do it do, how can I help?’ He understands how he has transitioned into that role.
“It’s on (general manager) Travis (Schlenk) now to figure out from a roster standpoint if it makes sense and how we can make it make sense. And Vince knew that all along that it’s going to be tough. But I don’t want to discredit what he was able to do last year. He’s got to make some decisions for himself as well.”
The Hawks’ current roster at:
• Point guards: Trae Young, Evan Turner, Jaylen Adams
• Wings: DeAndre Bembry, Allen Crabbe, Solomon Hill, Kevin Huerter, DeAndre Hunter, Cam Reddish, Charlie Brown (two-way)
• Bigs: John Collins, Alex Len, Miles Plumlee, Omari Spellman, Bruno Fernando
Schlenk said there could be future roster moves to free up a roster spot. There appears to be a need for another center with just Len and Plumlee at the spot. The Hawks filled a need for another point guard by trading Kent Bazemore for Turner. The move also created minutes on the wing for players like Huerter, Hunter and Reddish.
“We’ll see,” Schlenk said of the whether there would be room for Carter.
Carter appeared in 76 games last season, including nine starts. He averaged 7.4 points, 2.6 rebounds and 1.1 assists in 17.5 minutes. As valuable as Carter was on the court, he was a veteran presence in the Hawks locker room with a roster full of young players.
The Hawks may want his stature again next season. However, clearing a spot may be an issue.
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