NBA Free Agents 2011: 8 Reasons Vince Carter Should Be Chicago Bulls' Priority
It has been well publicized that the Chicago Bulls have a hole in the starting lineup at the shooting guard spot. Many different options have been discussed, including draft picks like Marshon Brooks, trade pieces like O.J. Mayo or free agents like Jason Richardson.
A guy who's not being talked about much is recently bought out Vince Carter.
Carter has played the role of scorer his whole career and could benefit from being a guy relied on to do nothing but score again.
Assuming he would be willing to put aside his monetary concerns to win, here are eight reasons this would be a good signing.
Next to Derrick Rose, there really isn't a guy who can create his own shot consistently. Vince Carter is a guy who has created his shot throughout his whole career. Even last year, in an off season, Carter averaged 14 points per game on a respectable 44 percent shooting.
While he has his limitations, Vince Carter may be able to be a secondary scorer next to Derrick Rose, even against good defenses like Miami's.
Solid Floor Spacing
Obviously, next to Derrick Rose, you need a guy who can hit a three point shot to spread the floor. Vinasanity has shot the ball at around a 37 percent clip from three for his career and was around 36 percent for the season last year.
Vince isn't going to win you any championships with just his three-ball, but it's at least solid enough that you have to respect it, and that's all you can ask when a guy plays off the ball.
Hole at the Shooting Guard
I think it is the consensus that Keith Bogans is not going to cut it at the shooting guard position because of his inconsistent offense.
Vinsanity could fill that hole.
Vince has played the shooting guard for most of his career and has played some swingman position for his whole career.
Vince has been relied on to score for his team for his whole career, and he has rarely fallen short. Playing for Phoenix last year was one of those times, but he was relied on to be the main scoring threat off of Steve Nash.
On the Bulls, he would only need to step up on nights when Derrick Rose, Luol Deng and Carlos Boozer all miss shots. If he can step up and be a creator when he needs to be, he could be a great pickup.
For a couple of years in the last era of Bulls basketball, the Bulls played with a shooting guard who measured out around 6'1".
Of course, with Ben Gordon being that short, there were crying babies and riots in the street in protest. Therefore, 6'6" Vince Carter may be a better piece to put next to Derrick Rose.
Vince's length gives him a natural advantage in scoring the ball and will hopefully aid him in continuing to play his game as his athleticism leaves him.
Low Risk, High Reward
Think of a fellow Suns teammate, Grant Hill.
Hill had struggled with injuries and inconsistent play throughout his tenure in Orlando alongside Tracy McGrady. In fact, Hill only averaged 33 appearances per season during his time in Orlando.
However, after he was signed by Phoenix for only $1.8 million a year, he blossomed and has played 80 or more games each of the last three seasons while averaging over 11 points and over 48 percent from the field.
I'm not comparing Vince Carter and Grant Hill as players or people: Carter has been the better player over his career but Hill has been the better figure. My point is that a low-risk move paid off big time for Phoenix when they acquired Grant Hill for peanuts.
Vince Carter could be that player for the Bulls, especially if he signs for the minimum.
The biggest concern about Vince right now is probably that he doesn't have much defense left in him. The Bulls are good enough on defense that adding a bad piece won't kill the team.
If Vince were to start, he would likely play with three above-average defenders in Derrick Rose, Luol Deng and Joakim Noah. Off the bench, he could play with Ronnie Brewer, Taj Gibson, Jimmy Butler and Omer Asik.
Even though Carter may not have much left to offer on the defensive end, his faults could be covered up by the No. 1-ranked Chicago Bulls defense, limiting the risk.
Strong Locker Room
There have been concerns about Carter's motivation and focus for years now, and they are not without reason. This is a guy who told John Thompson in a 2004 interview on TNT that he didn't always push himself as hard as he should have in Toronto.
In some locker rooms, a guy like Carter could be a distraction for a team. In Chicago, the locker room can stand firm, even with a guy like Carter.
The Bulls locker room may actually help Vince out. While he poisoned a team in Toronto that had no chance, he may be influenced by the confidence that this team exudes.
Perhaps it can even change his whole mindset.
Players are most motivated when they are close to winning, and the same is true of Vince.
The one time that he was legitimately close to contending was when he was part of the New Jersey trifecta with Jason Kidd, Richard Jefferson and himself.
The team only won 49 games at its max, but Carter revived his career there after getting into a rut in Toronto. He increased his scoring average from 16 points per game in Toronto to 28 points per game as soon as he was shipped to New Jersey.
There is no reason that being signed by Chicago shouldn't motivate him to tap into his potential. Carter, at this point, will obviously not be the 25-point-per-game scorer that he was in New Jersey and Toronto, but winning could give him the motivation to be a complementary scorer, despite his loss of athleticism.
The extra motivation should give Chicago more motivation to sign him.