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How Awesome Would It Be If Vince Carter Signed With The Raptors?

  • Eric Goldschein

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It’s a little early for NBA free agency talk (unless you’re Stephen A. Smith or ESPN in general), but one story caught my eye today and whisked me into a ’90s nostalgia frenzy, when a good slice of a pizza with a cup of soda was $1.50 and the Knicks weren’t quite the laughingstock they are now and Vince Carter was Vinsanity, or Air Canada, rather than “old.”

We were just wondering this morning if the Raptors’ resurgence would help to label Toronto as a prime free-agent destination — the next step in creating a true contender. Turns out the Raptors organization is thinking the same thing (via Marc Stein of ESPN):

Word is that the Raptors have been kicking around the idea of making a free-agent play this summer to try to bring Vince Carter “home” by trying to sign the former face of the franchise away from the Mavericks…

I suppose this is where some Raptors diehards are going to follow up by berating me with loud claims that Vince would never be welcomed back north of the border after the circumstances surrounding his departure in 2004. But I ain’t buyin’ it. I’ve never bought that. Trying to sign him now, as a veteran sage on a young team, is precisely the sort of splash we know new Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment president Tim Leiweke loves to make.

Stein also notes that the Mavericks will definitely try to sign to a new deal as well. If you were Carter, which would you choose — a pretty good Western Conference team that was ousted in the first round with whom you are very happy, or a pretty good Eastern Conference team that was ousted in the first round with whom you’ve got some good memories (and some very, very bad)? We kind of hope he picks Toronto, because it’s a good fit, both in terms of the team’s needs and the story of Vince Carter’s career.

Yes, the people of Toronto have issues with Carter (remember when Canadian SportsCenter did a “Top 10 Reasons Why Raptors Fans Dislike Vince Carter”?: They think he quit on the team, an individual tanking job meant to hasten his exit from Canada. But he’d be great for this team — a veteran leader who can make clutch shots and defend, somewhat. It’s the closest we’ll ever get to a “LeBron is going back to Cleveland” story, and would be a fitting end to Carter’s career, most likely.

It would be a most poetic reunion, and who better for guys like Terrence Ross and DeMar DeRozan to learn from about dunking scoring and being a leader and stuff? Fingers crossed. Sorry, Mavs fans.

Photo via Getty

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