Gilbert Arenas Says 'There's No Upside' to Vince Carter; 'Come On, Dude'

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistAugust 14, 2019

Washington Wizards' Gilbert Arenas (0) is fouled by New Jersey Nets' Vince Carter as he drives to the basket during second quarter NBA basketball Tuesday night, Feb. 27, 2007 in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)
Bill Kostroun/Associated Press

Former NBA All-Star Gilbert Arenas commented Tuesday on 42-year-old Vince Carter returning for a 22nd and final NBA season with the Atlanta Hawks.

According to Chris Kirschner of The Athletic, the 37-year-old suggested Carter should step aside since he has little to gain from playing for the Hawks in 2019-20:

"Let's be honest here. You have Vince, or you have this young guy. You're going to choose Vince. He's put 20 years in. His 5 percent is better than your 100 percent because his 5 percent is going to be smart basketball, so the coach is going to overlook young talent until they get that experience. When you're the last guy on the bench or the guy who got cut, you look at someone like Vince and say, 'Come on, dude.' There's no upside for Vince. Let somebody else get in there and be the next Vince Carter."

Carter will look to provide a veteran presence to a Hawks team led by young talent such as Trae Young, John Collins, Kevin Huerter and rookies De'Andre Hunter and Cam Reddish.

While Carter is an eight-time All-Star and likely a future Hall of Famer, his statistical contributions have been somewhat minimal in recent years; he was last an All-Star in 2007. Instead, Carter has brought experience and leadership to teams such as the Hawks, Memphis Grizzlies and Sacramento Kings.

Last season, Carter appeared in 76 games for Atlanta and averaged 7.4 points, 2.6 rebounds and 1.1 assists while shooting 41.9 percent from the field and 38.9 percent from beyond the arc.

Arenas' point about Carter taking the roster spot of a young player makes sense in theory, but the bulk of Atlanta's roster is already made up of players who are 25 or younger, which means they need veterans to show them the way.

Besides Carter, Evan Turner and Chandler Parsons are the youngest players on Atlanta's roster at just 30 years of age.

The Hawks improved from 24-58 two seasons ago to 29-53 last season, and they have an outside chance to be a factor in the Eastern Conference playoff race in 2019-20 depending on how quickly Young, Collins and Co. continue to develop.

Carter could be a valuable commodity to a team looking to compete for a playoff spot. Even if the Hawks are still a year or two away, Carter can help them learn how to win big games before riding off into the sunset, which is something that could carry over into subsequent seasons.

Arenas, who last played in the NBA seven years ago and currently playing in the BIG3, believes Carter would be better utilized as a coach, although Carter is essentially playing the role of player-coach already:

"Vince should be on the bench as a coach or in the office giving his input. That's a roster spot. You have kids who are 27 in (the BIG3) that should be in the NBA. Why are they not in the NBA? It's not that I don't like that he's playing, it's just that I had to fight from the beginning. You see a guy who is over the hill already and think, 'I'm better than you.' But the coach isn't going to put me in, and you have no reason to still be playing. You're not playing for anything, but in his mind, he's playing for the title of most seasons played."

Once Carter suits up for one game during the 2019-20 season, he will be the sole holder of the record Arenas alluded to. Carter is tied with Robert Parish, Kevin Willis, Kevin Garnett and Dirk Nowitzki for the most NBA seasons played at 21.

Given the fact that a bevy of former NBA players such as Arenas are continuing their basketball careers in the BIG3, it is difficult to criticize Carter for doing the same in the world's top league.