Role for Mavs in 2013-14: Carter will provide instant offense and vastly underrated defense in his second consecutive season as the Mavs’ sixth man.
Coach Rick Carlisle wants to keep Carter’s minutes in the mid-20s per game again, putting a priority on keeping the 16-year veteran fresh throughout the season. Carter, who remains an outstanding one-on-one and pick-and-roll creator, will be the offensive focal point for the second unit. He can also be a floor-spacing complement with a five that features mostly starters, having knocked down 40.6 percent of his 3-pointers last season.
What happened this summer?: Carter might have been moved if the Mavs needed to carve out a little more salary cap to sign Dwight Howard, but that problem didn’t present itself. He followed the same offseason training regimen as last season, slimming down a few pounds as part of a preventative maintenance program.
What does the future hold?: Mark Cuban went on the record late last season saying he hopes to retain Carter’s services after his contract expires this summer. Carter said he hasn’t considered retirement, adding that his body will tell him when it’s time. He certainly looks capable of continuing to be an NBA contributor.
Bottom line: The eight-time All-Star’s prime has passed, but he’s still a sleeper Sixth Man of the Year candidate.