Report: Vince Carter to Re-Sign with Hawks, Will Return for 22nd NBA Season

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistAugust 5, 2019

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - APRIL 07:  Vince Carter #15 of the Atlanta Hawks walks across the court in the second quarter against the Milwaukee Bucks at the Fiserv Forum on April 07, 2019 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. 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 Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
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Veteran swingman Vince Carter will return to the Atlanta Hawks after agreeing to a deal, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.  

Carter already signaled his intention to continue playing in 2019-20, extending his NBA career to a 22nd season. He was noncommittal about a return to the Hawks specifically, though.

Per Wojnarowski, there is an "expectation" that Carter will retire following next season. Wojnarowski later added the competition to sign Carter as a television analyst "will be intense" next summer.

The eight-time All-Star appeared in 76 games for Atlanta, averaging 7.4 points, 2.6 rebounds and 1.1 assists while shooting 41.9 percent from the field and 38.9 percent from three-point range.

Occasionally, Carter rolled back the years and delivered a highlight-reel jam.

For the most part, the 42-year-old was a spot-up shooter and perimeter threat.

According to Basketball Reference, 67.5 percent of his field-goal attempts were from beyond the arc, the highest distribution of his career. More than three-fourths of his shots were either in catch-and-shoot (57.5 percent) or pull-up (18.6 percent) situations as well, per NBA.com.

Carter deserves a lot of credit for recognizing the shifting offensive trends in the league and adapting in order to prolong his career. Carmelo Anthony, for example, has struggled to adapt and thus went unsigned for much of 2018-19.

Carter has also turned himself into a veteran leader who shows a willingness to aid in the development of a team's younger players, which made him a sensible addition to a rebuilding Hawks squad.

"Vince is definitely a great mentor to have in the locker room," Hawks center Dewayne Dedmon said, per Kevin Chouinard of the Hawks' official website. "A lot of the stuff you learn from Vince is just from watching him, just the professionalism. He's 42. He's still out here, and Trae's 20. He's out here with these little kids and still getting it done. It's phenomenal."

Giving Carter a roster spot is becoming a slightly harder bargain to make. He finished with minus-3.3 and minus-6.3 net ratings over the past two years, the two worst figures of his career, per NBA.com. He was never a great defender—even in his prime—and his defensive flaws are more glaring with how limited his role on offense has become.

The Hawks are obviously happy to keep him around. Atlanta arguably exceeded expectations in 2018-19, winning five more games compared to the season before and finishing 12th in the Eastern Conference.

Atlanta can once again rely on Carter's experience and leadership to help the younger players on the roster without his diminishing on-court returns drastically affecting its overall ceiling.