The Kings and eight-time All-Star Vince Carter agreed to a one-year, $8 million deal Thursday, league sources confirmed to The Sacramento Bee – adding another successful veteran who they believe can help mentor their young players.
Carter, at 40 the oldest player in the NBA, spent the last three seasons with the Memphis Grizzlies and will reunite with coach Dave Joerger, who led the Grizzlies in Carter’s first two seasons there, as well as former Memphis teammate Zach Randolph.
The addition of Carter will put the roster at capacity and give the Kings an experienced player who can provide minutes at small forward. The 6-foot-6 swingman averaged 8.0 points and 3.1 rebounds for the Grizzlies last season.
The Kings like that Carter is a career 37.4 percent 3-point shooter and they think he’ll help provide spacing on the court.
Sacramento selected small forward Justin Jackson 15th overall last month, and Garrett Temple is the only other experienced wing player under contract. Carter’s addition will help Joerger keep young players out of situations they’re unprepared to handle.
Also on Thursday, Rudy Gay, last season’s starting small forward, agreed to a two-year deal with the San Antonio Spurs. Gay opted out of a deal worth a little more than $14 million for next season. His agreement with the Spurs is worth $17 million over two years with an option after the first season, according to ESPN.
Aside from Carter’s abilities on the court, he will add to the positive, nurturing culture the Kings are looking to build. He won the 2015-16 Twyman-Stokes Teammate of the Year Award, as voted on by players around the NBA, given to an “ideal teammate” who displays “selfless play and commitment and dedication to his team.”
Carter is one of the most decorated players of his generation and will likely be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame as soon as he is eligible after his retirement.
Carter was the 1999 NBA Rookie of the Year and the 2000 slam dunk contest champion. He was a second-team All-NBA selection in 2001 and a third-team selection in 2000. He’s averaged 18.2 points for his career.
Carter’s 24,555 career points rank 22nd in NBA history.
Earlier this week, the Kings agreed to deals with forward Randolph (two years, $24 million) and guard George Hill (three years, $57 million). They also have a deal with Serbian star Bogdan Bogdanovic (three years, $27 million), a shooting guard whose draft rights the Kings acquired last year in a trade with Phoenix.
Once all the newcomers are signed, the Kings will have 15 under contract, the league maximum. A provision under the new collective bargaining agreement would allow the Kings to add two players who would split time between Sacramento and the NBA Development League.