NBA free agency rumors: Hawks ‘would welcome’ back Vince Carter

Vince Carter is not ready to retire.

The 42-year-old wing is a free agent but told reporters Thursday he’s still hoping to sign with a team and play one more NBA season.

“Just waiting for the right opportunity, and nothing has changed as far as that goal, and that dream of mine is to still play,” Carter said, via The Athletic. “It’s just a patient thing. I get it. I’m older. Teams are going younger. Hopefully, within the coming days, we’ll have something figured out.”

Carter averaged 7.4 points and 2.6 rebounds while shooting 38.9% from 3-point range for the Hawks last season. Atlanta “would welcome Carter back if that’s what he chooses to do,” according to The Athletic’s report, which cites two unidentified sources.

Atlanta coach Lloyd Pierce told The Athletic he hopes the team re-signs Carter.

“Leadership is important, but that is primarily coming from me,” Pierce said in June. “Maturity and character is what is needed in the locker room. Vince was great, and Vince is great because he gives you leadership, credibility and experience. The character piece for him is just off the charts. I think we have a ton of high-character guys here, so we have to keep that.

“I hope we don’t have to get a leader just because we need one. Vince Carter came with a different set. He walked into the locker room, and he already has respect. He didn’t have to demand it or command it.”

Carter, who has made eight All-Star teams during his 21-year career, has also played for the Raptors, Nets, Magic, Suns, Mavericks, Grizzlies and Kings.

The Hawks finished 2018-19 with a 29-53 record and missed the playoffs for a second straight season. They signed forward Jabari Parker and selected De’Andre Hunter and Cam Reddish in the first round of the 2019 draft.

Atlanta currently has two open roster spots.