Vince Carter Not Ending Career With Raptors is Missed Opportunity for NBA

Vince Carter #15
Vince Carter #15 / Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, Vince Carter has agreed to a one-year deal to return to the Atlanta Hawks for his final NBA season.

This is a great move by the Hawks to support their young cast, but this deal just means that the Toronto missed out, and they missed out BIG.

The 42-year old had previously announced that the 2019-20 NBA season would be his last, and fans across the league believed that playing for the Raptors would be the perfect full-circle end to a spectacular career.

Unfortunately, despite Carter's interest in playing his final season above the border, the Hawks were the first to swoop in and sign him for his last go-around the league.

Carter not returning to the Raptors for his final season is a loss for the city as well as the league. His return would have been perfect timing to ease the pain of losing Kawhi Leonard and would give the Raptors one more season of glory as they relish the memories of one of their all-time greatest franchise players. It would also allow for a farewell tour for the ages.

Carter began his career in Toronto in 1998 as the fifth overall pick of the draft and gave the franchise seven seasons before joining the Nets in 2005. During that time, Carter became known as a human highlight-reel earning himself the nickname "Vinsanity" through his insane dunks. He also stacked up All-Rookie, All-NBA, and All-Star honors.

He began his 21st season with the Hawks and will now be playing his 22nd in Atlanta as well. Carter will set an NBA record by playing in his 22nd season, passing Dirk Nowitzki, Kevin Garnett, Kevin Willis, and Robert Parish who all ended their careers after 21 campaigns. He will also be the first in the NBA to play through four different decades.

Carter will be the veteran presence to a youthful Hawks roster as he takes his farewell tour. The Raptors should be kicking themselves over this missed opportunity to reunite with a fan favorite.