Chicago Bulls: Should They Target O.J. Mayo?

H HContributor IIIJanuary 12, 2012

PHOENIX - NOVEMBER 05:  O.J. Mayo #32 of the Memphis Grizzlies shoots a free throw shot during the NBA game against the Phoenix Suns at US Airways Center on November 5, 2010 in Phoenix, Arizona. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

O.J. Mayo has gone from one of the bright young players in the NBA to a disappointment for the Memphis Grizzlies. But, could the Chicago Bulls benefit from his services? I think so.

O.J. Mayo had an amazing rookie season in the NBA averaging 18.5 points per game. But his scoring numbers have dropped each season to their current level of 10.1 per game. Why would the Bulls want to target a player whose scoring numbers have dropped so dramatically?

Although it may seem as though O.J. Mayo is getting worse, he still has the potential to be the great player he was in his rookie season. He’s lost playing time, going from 38 minutes per game his rookie season to 24.4 this season. His field-goal attempts have also decreased from 15.6 per game during his rookie season to 8.7 this season. But, his field-goal percentage is up to 44.9 percent this season compared to 43.8 percent his rookie season.

It is not that Mayo is now worse than he once was; it is that Mayo has been constricted by the Memphis Grizzlies and his playing time and opportunities to score have been decreased. Mayo still has the ability to produce from a scoring standpoint.

If the Bulls are able to get O.J. Mayo, they may have the key to a championship. The Grizzlies have mismanaged Mayo and if righted by the Bulls, he has the potential to be a major scoring threat. Grouped with Richard Hamilton and Ronnie Brewer at the shooting guard position, the Bulls would now have great depth and great scoring at a position that was once their weakest. Even if they have to give up a shooting guard to get Mayo, they still would be lethal at the position.

O.J. Mayo has the ability to improve a Chicago Bulls team that is already at a championship-caliber level. With Mayo’s small role on the Grizzlies, it is hard to imagine that they would ask for a lot from Chicago in return for his services. The Bulls would give up very little to receive this diamond in the rough.