Odds Heavily Favor Vince Carter Starting Final NBA Season With Toronto Raptors
- Carter has announced his intention to return to the NBA for one more season in 2019-20
- The Toronto Raptors, the team with whom he started his NBA career, have emerged as heavy favorites to re-sign Carter
- The Orlando Magic, Golden State Warriors, and Charlotte Hornets have also emerged as potential destinations for the 42-year-old veteran
Earlier this week, Vince Carter announced his intention to retire from the NBA at the end of the 2019-20 campaign, bringing his 22-year NBA career to a close. A productive role player for the Atlanta Hawks this past season, Carter is eligible to test the waters of NBA free agency this summer, and is heavily favored to open next season with the Toronto Raptors, sporting short -500 odds at Bovada.
Vince Carter Free Agency Odds
|Which Team Will Vince Carter Be On for Game 1 of 2019-20 Season?||Odds at
|Golden State Warriors||+750|
*Odds taken 06/06/19
Carter Emerged as Superstar During Six Tumultuous Seasons in Toronto
Carter enjoyed some of the biggest successes of his career in Toronto, earning NBA Rookie of the Year honors with the Raptors, before following up with a memorable win in the NBA Slam Dunk Contest a year later, and setting an array of franchise records that still stand including most points scored in a season (2,107), most field goals made in a game (20), most free throws attempted in a game (27), as well as most points scored in a playoff game, when he tallied 50 against the Philadelphia 76ers in Game 3 of their second-round matchup during the 2001 NBA Playoffs.
The 42-year-old spent six full seasons in Toronto, leading the Raptors to the postseason on three occasions, and their first-ever playoff series win in 2001, before leaving town in December 2004 after demanding a trade.
The reaction to Carter’s perceived slight towards the Raptors and the city of Toronto was swift and ferocious, with fans booing and jeering Carter upon his return to Toronto as a member of the New Jersey Nets, while others displayed their displeasure with the departed superstar by publicly burning his jersey.
Magic, Hornets, Warriors Among Potential Destinations
However, a lot has happened in Toronto, and with Carter, in the 15 years since he left town. A mature Carter has subsequently played a leadership role with six more clubs, including the Orlando Magic, Phoenix Suns, Dallas Mavericks, Memphis Grizzlies, and Sacramento Kings, before joining the Hawks this season.
Carter played a key role in the Magic’s drive to the 2010 Eastern Conference Finals, marking the deepest playoff run of his NBA career, and is pegged as a +650 wager to close out his career in Orlando.
The Charlotte Hornets have also emerged as a potential final destination, sporting +700 odds, and would enable Carter to finish his basketball career in close proximity to where he started his college career with the North Carolina Tar Heels. The team that selected Carter with the fifth overall pick at the 2008 NBA Draft, the Golden State Warriors, are also in the mix, listed as +750 longshots to be Vinsanity’s last stop on his NBA journey.
Time Heals All Wounds
But despite his acrimonious parting with Toronto all those years ago, it's tough to see Carter closing out his career as anything other than a Raptor.
The Raptors honored Carter as part of their 20th anniversary festivities in 2014.
Time heals all wounds, and that has been evident in Carter’s more recent visits to Toronto, most notably in 2014, when the team honored him as part of their 20th anniversary festivities, and the Raptors faithful responded with a standing ovation.
When questioned on the possibility of an eventual return to Toronto during a media scrum midway through last season, an older, mellower Carter responded positively.
“It's supposed to happen, I think. I can say that now.”
Pick: Toronto Raptors (-500)
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