Chicago Bulls Should Get O.J. Mayo to Help Derrick Rose

Bob BajekAnalyst IIIFebruary 15, 2012

BOSTON, MA - MARCH 23:  O.J. Mayo #32 of the Memphis Grizzlies heads for the net in the first half against the Boston Celtics on March 23, 2011 at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts.  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 Elsa/Getty Images)
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The Chicago Bulls attempted to help Derrick Rose by getting Richard Hamilton in the offseason, but that hasn't been enough to prevent Rose from shouldering much of the offensive burden. 

As Hamilton is proving he's injury prone, the Bulls need to go after Memphis Grizzlies shooting guard O.J. Mayo in a trade or free agency to help Rose in years to come.

At 24, Mayo is a four-year veteran from USC who is an offensive weapon capable of creating his own shot. However, the 6'4", 215-pound baller has fallen out of favor with the Grizzlies playing off the bench after being a starter in his first two seasons.

The Grizzlies rely on Zach Randolph, Marc Gasol, Rudy Gay and Mike Conely for their offense, leaving the explosive Mayo as a fifth option at best.

Mayo still is being productive despite being fazed out, scoring 11.9 points a game in 25.8 minutes while maintaining a career-average of 15.5 points a night.

As Mayo is going to be a restricted free agent, Memphis will have to make him a qualifying offer of at least $7.39 million to retain him. That most likely won't happen, as the Grizzlies will not pay a bench player that much to stay.

The Bulls should make a move for Mayo. With Mayo not happy being a Grizzly and Memphis fazing him out of their offense, Chicago could either trade for him or sign him during free agency.

If Mayo is so undervalued by the Grizzlies, the Bulls could trade their first-round draft pick this year and the Charlotte Bobcats' pick for Mayo. This will give the Grizzlies young, upcoming talent while the Bulls wouldn't give up any of their current members.

Plus with Jimmy Butler on the roster and Nikola Mirotic waiting in the wings, the Bulls could afford giving up some first-round picks for a former No. 3 pick like Mayo. 

If Mayo is not traded for, the Bulls could go after Mayo in free agency. Chicago has an edge over teams like the Los Angeles Lakers, New Orleans Hornets and Indiana Pacers with its relative youth and Rose as the star.

Mayo would fit nicely with Rose in the backcourt as he's a speedy guard with size who can create his own shot. Inserting Mayo as the starting shooting guard would allow the Bulls to move Hamilton to the bench, where he would be the sixth man Chicago has been lacking.

Of all the shooting guard possibilities, Mayo would be the best answer to help Rose in the long run. Eric Gordon is having surgery on his right knee and might be a health liability. J.R. Smith is a volume shooter who has a bad attitude. Courtney Lee lacks the offensive pop Mayo would provide as a second scoring option.

As a point guard, Rose should be more of a facilitator than a shooter, so a player of Mayo's caliber would take a great load off D-Rose's shoulders.

Trading for or signing Mayo would benefit Rose as the reigning MVP would finally have a consistent sidekick. The Bulls need to make this move to prevent Rose from burning out, thus keeping Chicago competitive for years.


Bob Bajek is a featured columnist for the Chicago Bulls. He is also a freelance reporter and can be followed on and Twitter.