Vince Carter on Potential Return to Raptors: 'It's Supposed to Happen'

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistDecember 17, 2017

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - DECEMBER 14: Vince Carter #15 of the Sacramento Kings shoots a free throw against the Minnesota Timberwolves on December 14, 2017 at Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. 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. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Jordan Johnson/NBAE via Getty Images)
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Vince Carter returned to Toronto on Sunday as a member of the Sacramento Kings and commented on an eventual return to the Raptors.

"Of course," he said, per Blake Murphy of the Raptors Republic. "I heard about it. It didn't happen, I guess. It's just one of those things, it'll happen, for sure. Somehow, whether it's one day or something, it'll happen. It's supposed to happen, I think. I can say that now. I've had a lot of people say it's supposed to happen, so now I guess I have to believe."  

Carter played for the Raptors from his rookie season in 1998-99 to the 2004-05 campaign, when they traded him to the New Jersey Nets.

The North Carolina product scored just four points in a 108-93 loss but received a standing ovation from the Air Canada Centre as he checked out in the final seconds:

Carter is 40 years old and well past his prime, but he is playing on a one-year contract with the Kings and could theoretically join the Raptors next season for bench depth at the end of his career. He could also serve in some type of front-office or coaching role as well if he does decide to retire following the 2017-18 campaign.

Whether he eventually returns to the team will do nothing to change the fact he is one of the most memorable Raptors in franchise history.

He won the 1998-99 Rookie of the Year award, was a member of two All-NBA Teams, led the team to two playoff appearances and captured the 2000 Slam Dunk Contest title with one of the best performances in the event's history.

NBA.com called feelings between Carter and the Raptors fanbase "raw" at the time he was traded to the Nets, but any bad blood appears to be water under the bridge given Sunday's reception from the crowd.

Carter also said in a diary entry he wrote for Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated in November he hopes the Raptors retire his jersey at some point. If they do that, he will forever be part of the franchise, even if he never laces it up for them before hanging up his sneakers.

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