Things moved very quickly late on the night that will in the future be called LeBron's Homecoming Day. It started off with this troubling but fairly innocuous Mark Stein tweet:
Grizzlies, I'm told, pressing tonight to try to finalize an agreement with Vince Carter after learning Mike Miller is headed elsewhere— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) July 12, 2014
But minutes later, the Woj bomb dropped.
Vince Carter has agreed to a three-year, $12M deal with Memphis, league source tells Yahoo Sports.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 12, 2014
That's right. Vince Carter is a Memphis Grizzly.
Everyone knows the Mavs were really big on re-signing Vince Carter. Hell, Mark Cuban was quite public in talking about how Vince Carter could retire a Maverick. But apparently Vince was looking for a little bit more than just a cozy place to retire.
If the Mavs' plans for Parsons pull through, that wasn't going to leave a lot of money left over for aging role players like Vince. Clearly the Grizzlies offered Vince more than he thought he would get in Dallas, and he very quickly jumped ship.
On the one hand, good riddance. Thanks for the game-winner in game 3, but Vince has always been a very up and down hero ball type, who was a lot of fun when he was hitting shots and everyone's favorite whipping boy when he was missing them. Personally, I prefer role players who can hit those big shots, but don't feel the compulsion to throw them up quite as often as Vince did.
On the other hand, Dallas is losing good shooters rapidly. Even if the Rockets blink and don't match Dallas's offer on Parsons, the Mavs are going to be scrambling to replace what was a really quality bench last season. Vince was a huge part of that, and it will probably take more than Ricky Ledo and Jae Crowder to replace his production.
Ambivalent as I may seem, Vince was an important part of recent Mavs history, and I wish him nothing but the best. And losing a valuable bench piece to a division rival isn't the best thing to happen on a Friday night. Vince, you will be missed.
Game 3 will live on forever.