Toronto Raptors: Would Fans Accept a Vince Carter Return?

Patrick Yaghoobians@PyaghoobiansAnalyst IIMay 14, 2012

TORONTO - NOVEMBER 3:   Vince Carter #15 of the Toronto Raptors salutes the crowd after beating the Houston Rockets 95-88 during a game at the Air Canada Centre on November 3, 2003 in Toronto, Canada.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Dave Sandford/Getty Images)
Dave Sandford/Getty Images

Vince Carter and the Toronto Raptors date all the way back to the late 1990s and the early 2000s. Those few years were easily some of the best in the history in the franchise.

After going down the standings slowly, Carter decided that Toronto was not the place for him and demanded a trade. Carter at the time was a superstar, and would continue to be one for a few years later, but what Toronto got in that trade for Carter was just atrocious.

He was traded to the New Jersey Nets for Alonzo Mourning—who never played in a Raptors uniform and later signed with the Miami Heat—Eric Williams, Aaron Williams and two first-round draft picks (one of which was used to draft Joey Graham and the other traded to New York for Antonio Davis). Talk about lopsided.

Ever since that day, the Raptors never had a true leader until Chris Bosh stepped up as he matured, but that is a completely different story.

I have said many times before, had it not been for Carter, the Toronto Raptors would have had the same fate as the Vancouver Grizzlies: relocation. Carter's electrifying dunks and his moves on the court made the Raptors the team to watch.

Carter even admitted to not trying 100 percent in his last years as a Raptor, mainly because he was not getting significant playing time and not the best shots, as can be seen from his career low 17 PPG as a Raptor.

Despite admitting to those claims, Carter has said before that he loved and still loves Toronto, and he does not care that the fans hate or love him, because he will still be a huge fan of the city and the team, which should give him respect points.

Many teams have made mistakes in the past (i.e. the Knicks selling Julius Erving), and although they can make a person rage inside, they have to be forgotten, although not always forgiven. 

The Carter trade is without a doubt one of the most lopsided trades and worst moves in history. Carter definitely did some questionable things as a Raptor, but should a fan seriously be complaining about something that happened almost seven or eight years ago?

The Raptors should go for Carter. He may not be the same Carter fans knew and cherished, but he could provide valuable scoring off the bench, even though he has become a streaky scorer.

I say welcome Carter back to Toronto if he wants to sign with the team.

The most important thing though, is to not remember the bad things he has done, but all the amazing and great things he did for the city of Toronto and basketball in a city where hockey and the Toronto Maple Leafs rule.