Former West Virginia guard Jevon Carter has proven that he can be a valuable piece of an NBA roster.  In his two seasons in the NBA, Carter has averaged 4.9 points, 1.9 rebounds and 1.6 assists per game.  While Carter has only shot 36.7% from the field, he has shot a respectable 38.7% from three point range and 83.1% from the foul line.

Even though he has shown that he can produce offensively, it’s Carter’s defensive ability and hustle that has landed him a place in the NBA.  The winner of “The Dan Majerle Hustle Award”, Carter has earned his reputation as a defensive bulldog.

However, Carter’s size will always be an issue in the NBA.  At 6’1, Carter is an undersized guard and general managers have a very hard time looking past that.  In addition, his limited offensive production combined with the lack of size can be a red flag for those in the NBA making difficult roster decisions.

Make no mistake about it, Jevon Carter should be re-signed by the Phoenix Suns this offseason.  As a restricted free agent, the Suns can offer him a $1.8 million offer, or he can enter into restricted free agency.  After backing up starter Ricky Rubio and taking over as the 2nd string point guard for the team, signing him for $1.8 million seems like the obvious decision.

However, the NBA is a business and there’s a lot more to consider than simply who has and hasn’t earned a roster spot.  For instance, point guard Ty Jerome, who Carter clearly out-played this season, is a former first-round pick and has a guaranteed contract with the Suns.  The same can be said for Elie Okobo, who has a partial guarantee with the Suns.  Even though Carter was a far better player than both Jerome and Okobo, he may not be re-signed simply because the Suns have already guaranteed money to both Jerome and Okobo.

If I had to guess, the Suns will likely allow Carter to sign elsewhere and there will be a market for him after he’s proven himself over the past two seasons.  If Carter doesn’t re-sign with the Suns, I expect the following teams to pursue him in free agency:

Chicago Bulls: Carter is originally from Illinois, the Bulls have a young roster, and he can earn major playing time on a team searching for defensive energy.

Cleveland Cavaliers: Another young roster, the Cavs would be a great fit for Carter.  Backing up Colin Sexton at the point guard position would be an ideal situation for him.  Also, Mike Gansey is the Assistant General Manager for the Cavs and is certainly very aware of what Carter could add to his young roster.

Los Angeles Lakers: LeBron James is not happy with the current Lakers’ rosters and major changes are expected.  The point guard position is a particular concern for the Lakers.  Rajon Rondo is often-injured and Avery Bradley opted out of the NBA Bubble.  Jevon Carter could not only make the Lakers’ roster, he could earn real, significant playing time in Los Angeles.

Prediction: Chicago Bulls