Carter, the Denver Nuggets' trusty backup point guard last season behind Chauncey Billups, has been demoted for the time being to third string due to the quick development of rookie Ty Lawson. But no complaints have been heard from Carter.
"It's just about playing my role and waiting on my time to come,'' Carter said. "I just look at it as a time to get some rest so when stress time comes, I'll be ready.''
A source said the Nuggets, due to Lawson's development, would consider dealing Carter by the February trade deadline. But Carter, who can't be traded until Dec. 15 due to re-signing as a free agent last August, would have to give his consent to any deal because he signed a one-year contract and could have Bird free-agent rights next summer with Denver.
"If they want to then, that's something different,'' Carter said when asked if he would give his consent if the Nuggets wanted to move him. "But my decision is I want to stay here.''
Carter, who moved his family home from San Antonio to Denver before last season, could have bolted last summer to another team offering a minimum deal. But Carter, who did receive interest from Memphis, wanted to stay in Denver.
He still feels that way.
"I'm still getting paid. I get to sit in the front row and cheer my teammates on. I can't complain," Carter said, adding that he wants to stay in Denver. "I know what my situation is and what my role can be. If something happens (to Billups or Lawson), I know the system and can come right in and fit right back to where ... I left off.''
Prior to getting in for garbage time Wednesday at Minnesota, Carter didn't play for five straight games, although he didn't dress for the first two due to a strained left hip.
Nuggets coach George Karl said it's no guarantee Lawson will remain Denver's backup point guard. But Carter said Karl came to him about a week ago to say both Lawson and shooting guard Arron Afflalo have been playing well, and that Karl was still "trying to figure things out with the rotation.''
Lawson, taken with the No. 18 pick by Minnesota and traded to the Nuggets on draft night, has been a big surprise as a rookie. Entering Friday against New York, Lawson was averaging 9.3 points and 3.4 assists in 21.7 minutes to 2.9 points and 2.1 assists in 16.6 minutes for Carter, who did start the season's first six games at shooting guard.
"We've got an All-Star, we got probably one of the best backups in basketball and we definitely got the best third point guard in basketball,'' Karl said about Denver's point situation, with the All-Star being Billups. "Put the names in the right places. It comes in different packages. In different times of the year, it might be different than right now. I'm not guaranteeing that Ty has won the battle ... An injury to either Ty or Chauncey, we're in a great place. That's the positive energy.''
For now, Karl can't help but feel very positive about Lawson.
"We thought Ty (would contribute) after about 10 days of training camp,'' said Karl, not always known for playing rookies. "We had veterans mumbling about it before we started training camp. (Forward Kenyon Martin told Karl that) 'you better change your ways (because) the kid's got to be on the court.'''
Lawson has been so far. And no complaints about it have come from Carter.
Chris Tomasson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @christomasson.