Vince Carter expected to be back with the Magic

Over the weekend, I outlined the Magic’s options with regard to Vince Carter, but it looks like GM Otis Smith is intent on keeping him around, assuming he’s being forthcoming (which is not his strong suit).

Carter is expected to remain with the Magic through next season, according to Smith. Carter, 33, fell short of being the go-to guy that many expected. “I think that Vince will tell you he’d like to have had a better season, but I’m not putting it on one guy. We failed as a unit,” Smith said. Carter has an expiring contract next season at $17 million — salary-cap friendly for other teams in a trade. But Smith said he “anticipates” Carter staying the entire season. Asked about the prospect of being dealt, Carter told the Sentinel, “I’m not worried about that. I know how the business works. I think I can stand on my body of work.”

When asked how close he thought the Magic were to winning a title, Smith responded:

General Manager Otis Smith put his thumb and index finger together and there was very little space left in between.

“Getting better for us, you’re talking one-eighth of an inch, not two feet,” Smith said Monday as the Magic met for the last time until training camp in October.

Hmm. I’m not sure how you can see this season as progress when you were nearly swept in the Eastern Conference Finals a year after losing 4-1 in the Finals with two of those losses coming in overtime. Unless, of course, you’re a general manager and want to spin the job you’ve done over the last year.

By nearly any measure, the Magic are further away from a title than they were a year ago and that has a lot to do with the addition of Vince Carter. For the sake of Magic fans everywhere, I sure hope that Smith is blowing smoke.

Photo from fOTOGLIF

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