Interestingly enough, Raptors general manager Masai Ujiri recently said in an interview with CBC’s George Stroumboulopoulos that the franchise would be interested in a reunion with the 37-year-old swingman, although he made it abundantly clear that he's unable to discuss other teams' players, per the NBA's tampering policy.
Responding to a question about bringing Carter back to the franchise, Ujiri answered with the following:
In our organization I think we do respect him. Tim [Leiweke] met with him. I wasn't in town. Tim met with him the last time they [the Dallas Mavericks] came into town with Mark Cuban's permission and I think it went well. We've shown him or we're trying to shown him that this is new and open thinking and in the future we're definitely going to think openly.
The entire interview with Ujiri can be viewed below, but the discussion about Carter begins around the 33:40 mark.
Of course, bringing Carter back to where his career started figures to be a tall task considering his current employer is interested in re-signing the Sixth Man of the Year candidate when his contract expires this summer, according to ESPNDallas.com's Tim MacMahon:
Carter, who is averaging 12.1 points, 3.6 rebounds and 2.7 assists in 24.4 minutes per game this season, has made it no secret that he hopes to re-sign with the Mavs this summer.
“The feeling is absolutely mutual,” Mavs president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson said, reiterating an opinion voiced by owner Mark Cuban. “When you have that kind of veteran leadership, we’re a better team. It’s great for the younger guys. Those are the kind of guys that you want in that locker room carrying the baton and eventually passing it on.”
It's worth noting, however, that Carter stated in a 2012 interview with TSN Radio 1050 that he would have interest in returning to the franchise that he evolved with.
"If (Toronto) gave me the opportunity, I don't even think I'd let them finish the question. Yes. I'm in," Carter said.
Averaging 12.1 points on 40.9 percent shooting from the field and 39.5 percent shooting from three, Carter's emerged as Rick Carlisle's most dependable reserve in the scoring column during a year in which the Mavericks have boasted the league's third-most efficient offense, according to NBA.com.
Not only that, but the 10-time All-Star has been scoring at a more efficient clip since the midseason recess. According to Basketball-Reference.com, Carter is averaging 13.6 points while shooting better than 45 percent from three since the All-Star break.
In addition, Carter's offensive rating (points per 100 possessions) has jumped nine points in that span.
Given the relative success Carter has enjoyed during his time with the Mavericks, it's hard to imagine him bolting for such a young Raptors team this summer. Carlisle's offense has extended Carter's shelf life as a viable offensive weapon, and there's no telling how the former North Carolina Tar Heel would fare on a Raptors team that's replete with prospering young wings.
That said, an eventual reunion would be a nice way to patch things up between a passionate Raptors fanbase and the franchise's second all-time leading scorer, particularly after he helped elevate the organization to new heights at the beginning of the new millennium.
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