Vince Carter Free Agency: Lakers, Clippers or Nets the Better Option?

Vince Carter Free Agency Lakers Clippers Nets

Getty NBA free agency Vince Carter

Vince Carter is one of the most well-respected NBA stars in recent memory, and he appears set to return for one final season before riding off into the sunset. While some believed that 2018-19 could be the final year of Carter’s career, that does not appear to be the case, at least based on the veteran’s comments in late April.

As Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution revealed, Carter joined The Ringer’s ‘Winging It’ podcast, hosted by former Atlanta Hawks teammate Kent Bazemore and made his intentions known.

While Carter, who’s 42 years old, hasn’t revealed any details on his free agency, a few teams jump out as top potential landing spots. There’s been no specific link to the Los Angeles Lakers, Brooklyn Nets or Los Angeles Clippers, but all three could be options for the 6-foot-6 guard/forward.

After each of the three teams bolstered their roster through trades and/or free agency this offseason, they now appear poised to contend for a title in 2019-20. And while Carter, an eight-time All-Star, has been incredible throughout his career, an NBA title is one of the few things missing from his resume.

So, we’re going to take a look at which of these three teams would make the most sense as a free agency fit for Carter, who’s played for eight teams over the span of his 21-year career.

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Free Agency Argument for Vince Carter to the Lakers & Clippers

Lakers Vince Carter Free Agency

Getty Kawhi Leonard, LeBron James and Anthony Davis

The Lakers find themselves in an interesting spot, as they missed on signing Kawhi Leonard, but acquired Anthony Davis via trade and brought in DeMarcus Cousins. Pairing the former New Orleans Pelicans star with LeBron James helps the Lakers project as one of the best teams in the Western Conference even without Leonard.

The argument for the Lakers to sign Carter is that he’d provide another weapon off the bench, and would also offer additional veteran leadership alongside LeBron, Rajon Rondo, Danny Green and Jared Dudley. There also appears to be a decent chance that Carter could carve out a solid role, even though the Lakers roster features some depth with signings such as Danny Green, Troy Daniels, Quinn Cook, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Rondo.

On the Clippers side of things, it’s hard not to love the thought of joining recently-acquired stars in Leonard and Paul George. But the argument could be made that the Clippers have even more depth than the Lakers.

The Clippers re-signed Patrick Beverley and still have Lou Williams and Landry Shamet. They also added former Portland Trail Blazers small forward Maurice Harkless and Miami Heat guard Rodney McGruder. Overall, both Los Angeles-based teams have depth, and it’s tough to gauge which team could provide Carter with more playing time.

Free Agency Argument for Vince Carter to the Nets

Brooklyn Nets Vince Carter free agency

GettyKyrie Irving and Kevin Durant

I’m going to have a tough time making an argument for the Nets to be the most appealing free agency landing spot for Carter’s final season. The first reason stems from the fact that Brooklyn’s title chances in 2019-20 take a hit when you consider that recently-acquired Kevin Durant may miss the entire season with a ruptured Achilles tendon.

While Kyrie Irving and DeAndre Jordan are both there, the Nets still have an impressive amount of depth. Spencer Dinwiddie, Joe Harris, Caris LeVert and Rodions Kurucs are among the names returning from last year’s team who are bound to see minutes. The Nets also signed Taurean Prince, Garrett Temple and Wilson Chandler, all of which are players who deserve playing time also.

The initial argument for the Nets would be that without Durant, Carter could see more playing time. But due to the team’s depth and free-agent signings, that may not prove to be the case.

Vince Carter Free Agency Verdict: Lakers or Clippers

Vince Carter NBA Free Agency

GettyVince Carter

If Durant were a lock to play this season, the Nets would still be in the mix, even with their impressive depth. But the fact that Durant is unlikely to suit up, paired with Brooklyn’s depth makes them a fair amount less appealing from an outsider’s perspective.

But when looking at the Lakers and Clippers, the decision should come down to which of the two teams has the best chance to win the title in 2019-20. Will Davis, Cousins and a plethora of solid role players joining LeBron and Kyle Kuzma be enough for the Lakers to take the crown? It’s certainly possible.

As for Leonard and George, it may be a bit tougher for them to gel and find their stride immediately than it will be for James and Davis. But the Clippers roster looks strong enough to make a run immediately, which adds to this great debate. Tack on the fact that we saw Leonard join a brand new team last year and proceed to win a championship, and it becomes an even tougher call.

In the end, I think I’d bet on a bounce-back season from James and a hungry Davis in his first season in Los Angeles. It’s far from an easy decision, and Carter can’t go wrong with either option if the two teams brought contract offers to the table.

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