Shumpert is almost certain to opt in for next season. Having dealt with foot and knee injuries, this is not the time for Shumpert to test free agency when he has $11 million guaranteed for next season, even if he’s not a part of the Kings’ long-term plans. I’m intrigued by what Shumpert might add. He’s only 27 and has shown he can play in pressure situations, having been a part of Cleveland’s 2016 NBA championship team. Shumpert will be motivated to show the rest of the league he is healthy and that he can play a key role on a team.
Carter, who is 41 and plans to play another season, whether with the Kings or elsewhere, continues to improvise, sketching out his legacy on the fly, if not necessarily in the air. In the closing weeks of his 24th season, he is committed to passing along his most valuable lessons to his young teammates, not the least of which is cautioning De’Aaron Fox and Frank Mason III against unnecessarily “reckless” drives to the basket that threaten to shorten their careers.
Storyline: Vince Carter Free Agency
What makes Vince run? That $8 million salary ranks right up there, undoubtedly. But so does his unwavering passion for the game, the familiar comforts and challenges of the locker room, and the simple reality that he has plans, perhaps as an NBA owner, yet none that he is fully prepared to pursue. “I’m not going to sit here and deny that I want to play more,” said Carter, who is averaging 17.7 minutes. “Things changed. We aren’t winning and the younger guys need to get better. I get that, but at the same time, I try to make the best of it. That way if it doesn’t work out here, I can still play on another team, maybe a contending team, in a lesser role.”