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Eight-time All-Star Vince Carter will return for his 21st NBA season after agreeing on a one-year $2.4 million deal with the Atlanta Hawks.

The 41-year-old Carter, who averaged 5.4 points in 17.7 minutes for the Sacramento Kings last season, will play for his eighth team in the league. Carter has played for the Toronto Raptors, New Jersey Nets, Orlando Magic, Phoenix Suns, Dallas Mavericks, Memphis Grizzlies, and the Kings.

“Oh it’s a lot different. It’s not as bad going up, it’s just coming down. The landing part — that’s the biggest difference as far as discomfort I guess. I used to be able to fly around with ease and not think about the consequences as a 20-year-old. And now it’s strategically planned out in only certain moments now,” Carter said when asked what’s the difference between dunking at 21 and dunking at 41.

Carter Joins Elite Class

After signing with the Hawks, Carter will join Dirk Nowitzki as the final members of the 1998 draft class left in the league. Carter was drafted by the Golden State Warriors with the fifth overall pick before being traded to the Raptors in exchange for Antawn Jamison.

Carter and Nowitzki will also join the elite class of Kevin Garnett, Kevin Willis, and Robert Parish as the only players to play 21 seasons in the league. Should Carter suit up after his Jan. 26 birthday, he will become the first 42-year-old to play in the NBA since Dikembe Mutombo, who appeared in the 2009 season.

Prior to joining the Hawks, Carter earned $8 million last year with the Kings. He also played three seasons for the Grizzlies, wherein he averaged 66 games a year.

Great Signing For The Hawks

Carter is expected to provide a veteran presence to a relatively young Hawks roster that sports rookie guard Trae Young and 2017 first-round pick John Collins. Sources say that general manager Travis Schlenk wants Carter’s influence around their rebuilding and young roster. Interestingly, Carter made it into the league nearly three months before Young was born.

Aside from Young and Collins, the Hawks also have 19-year-old Kevin Huerter and 21-year-old Omari Spellman. Huerter was selected as the 19th overall pick, while Spellman was drafted at 30th.

During his 21-year NBA career, Carter has proven to be legitimate offensive firepower, scoring a total of 24,868 points. The former Raptors star is 325 points away from passing Jerry West for number 21 on the all-time scoring list and 412 points from eclipsing Reggie Miller for number 20

Last season, Carter made history as he became the oldest player to start an NBA game since Juwan Howard did it in 2013. Currently, the Hawks has no other player on the roster that is older than 30.

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