No contact for Vince Carter due to knee tendinitis

DALLAS – Vince Carter has yet to do any contact drills with the Dallas Mavericks because of knee tendinitis, coach Rick Carlisle said.

It is not a major health concern for the 34-year-old swingman, an eight-time All-Star who recently signed for the mini-midlevel exception. The Mavericks hope Carter can participate in the team’s second practice Thursday.

“It’s a process, and we don’t have a whole lot of time,” Carlisle said. “We’ve got to make every second count.”

The concern is getting Carter, who is tentatively penciled in as the starting shooting guard, up to speed in a new system with the season opener against the Heat only 10 days away.

Carter has observed several practices, including a few before his deal was officially signed, and has diligently studied. But he needs some live action with teammates to be ready.

“He’s very smart and he’s done some noncontact things on the court,” Carlisle said. “We’ve got to get him out there, but we’ve got to get him healthy first. We don’t look this is anything serious, but it’s something that kept him off the floor last night. He’s going to have to spend enough time in the training room to get this addressed and resolved, and we need him out here.

“If he can’t be out here, then we’ve got to have other guys ready to go. Time is off the essence.”

All of the Mavs’ returning rotation players got Thursday morning off. Dirk Nowitzki, who left Wednesday’s practice because of an illness, was at the facility getting treatment from the team’s medical staff.