The 37-year-old 2014 free agent said as much to Eddie Sefko of The Dallas Morning News Saturday, as he made a pitch for what would likely be the final contract of his career.
Vince Carter wants to re-sign with Mavericks, thinks he’s earned it (he has) http://t.co/2Ia8ZcmuoA— Kurt Helin (@basketballtalk) March 29, 2014
Carter said that he loves the entire package of playing for this franchise in this city. He's helped the team challenge for a playoff spot this season, and he believes he can play an important role for the club to get over the hump in 2014-15:
I think I've earned the right to stick around. ... My fingers are crossed. Next year might be even better. We can attract some more people, more talent. Now I know my role, and I know the system, it's second nature to me now. I know the city very well. ... I like the guys. I like the nucleus we have here. With my role and the way I play and the way I go about things, it really helps guys here. ... Hopefully, that's enough so that they can still have trust in me enough to play significant minutes and help the other guys out.
The veteran version of "Vinsanity" has been a terrific role player for the Mavs the last couple of years.
He provides double-digit scoring via efficient shooting, hitting 39 percent from three-point land and making all the right plays when the ball comes his way. Carter moves extremely well within the flow of the offense, and he still has the ability to put it on the deck and create.
During Friday's battle against the Los Angeles Clippers, he showed that there's still plenty left in the tank, as he went for 23 points to lead the Mavs in scoring.
Dallas has struggled to return to its 2011 championship ways over the past few seasons, and in 2013, it missed the playoffs due to injuries and a changing roster.
This year's group has been much more competitive, even in a deeper Western Conference. It's top-five in the NBA in field-goal percentage (47.3 percent) and fourth in the league in offensive rating (110.9). And Carter fits nicely with this group led by Monta Ellis and Dirk Nowitzki, as he's scoring 17.9 points per 36 minutes and serving as a dependable supplementary option.
With that in mind, he hopes he can turn this good situation into a great one. Sefko explained the veteran's Dallas journey, as he joined the Mavs right after their 2011 triumph:
In three seasons with the Mavericks, Carter has seen them go from defending champions to barely making the playoffs to missing them entirely.
Neither he nor anybody else knows if this season will produce a return to the postseason. But Carter does know two things.This team is better than last year's. And he desperately wants to hang around to see this rebuilding project through to the end.
He earned $3.2 million in 2013-14, per ShamSports.com, and considering his current production, it's not far-fetched to think he can return on a one- or two-year deal in the same price neighborhood.
Carter's time in the Association will soon come to a close, and he's intent upon making his last chapter a great one for himself and the Mavericks collectively.
Advanced stats courtesy of Basketball-Reference.com.
Dan O'Brien covers the NBA for Bleacher Report.
Follow him on Twitter: @DanielO_BR.