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Vince Carter is 41 years old and at the tail end of his illustrious career. Playing for the rebuilding Atlanta Hawks in his 21st season, Carter is definitely thinking about championships.

While there’s little doubt Carter will eventually end up in the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts, there’s still a gaping void that devoted fans wish the player could fill before he hangs his sneakers for good. It might be far too late in his hoops journey, but winning an NBA title would be the icing on the cake.

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And honestly, there’s no better place to do it than in Toronto, the city that first welcomed him as a full-fledged professional basketball player. After an acrimonious breakup in 2004, Carter’s love affair with Toronto gradually warmed up over the years. He’s getting tribute videos and lots of love each time he steps foot in Scotiabank Arena, formerly the Air Canada Center.

The last return game?

On Tuesday, Carter returned once again to his former turf as the Hawks played the Raptors. Vinsanity managed only six points on 2-of-6 shooting (all from 3-point area) in 13 minutes of play. Yeah, it’s a far cry from the Half-Man, Half-Amazing player during his primer; nevertheless, he still electrifies the arena.

The prospect of an emotional return

Carter is adamant he will keep going even past his 40s. Who knows? He could be returning next season at the age of 41. On the other hand, why wait for next year? For over 20 years since their inaugural season, the Raptors haven’t been this poised for a championship run.

Yes, they made it in their first conference finals a few years back, but there’s something in the air this year. Maybe, it’s Kawhi Leonards stellar play or Pascal Siakam’s emergence as a multi-tool forward.

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Maybe, it’s the year when Toronto breaks through the East playoff barrier.

Carter, who is averaging 7.3 points on 40.9 percent FG shooting (37 percent from 3s) in just over 17 minutes per game, is a perfect midseason pickup for the Raptors.

You say why? Well, it’s because it probably takes only a second-round pick and a filler contract to get a highly-professional veteran and another locker room leader for a title-contending squad. Carter will bring back that Air Canada electricity every time he comes off the bench, no matter how limited his playing time would be.

Sometimes, it’s the unsung heroes who actually win the game.

It might be wishful thinking perhaps. After all, Masai Ujiri isn’t fond of making midseason trades, unless the team really needs it. However, it would be an awesome narrative to see Carter not only playing for the Raptors but helping them compete for a title around 15 years after his departure. It is a nostalgia-filled Hollywood story we must look out for at the trade deadline, exactly a month from now.