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Offensively gifted 2-guard O.J. Mayo had long been believed to be a player of interest for the soon-to-be-retooling Boston Celtics. According to A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com, the Celtics are still interested in acquiring Mayo, a restricted free agent this offseason.
The team is reportedly willing to perform a sign-and-trade for Mayo, giving up power forward Brandon Bass, who recently opted out of his contract's final year to become an unrestricted free agent. The team actually pulled a similar move to acquire Bass, sending Glen Davis to Orlando.
With Ray Allen likely departing and Avery Bradley the only shooting guard on the roster, Boston could seriously use some backcourt depth. Last season, Mayo excelled in a sixth man role, averaging 12.6 points, 3.2 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game.
At only 24 years old, Mayo could be a part of the long-term picture for Boston, which is looking to get younger without completely falling out of playoff contention. Mayo is an extremely athletic guard, capable of taking his man off the dribble and pushing the ball in transition, as well as pulling up and draining perimeter shots.
Plenty of teams will be vying for Mayo's services, but the Celtics have the cap space to give him a multi-year deal for good money, and he will obviously have an important role with the team going forward, something all free agents consider.
Though Memphis has plenty of frontcourt players, Bass is a proven talent, and if the team ends up moving one of their veterans, he could provide some quality production at a much lower cost. Still, Mayo knows the team's system well and is a valuable part of their rotation. They need outside shooters, and he was one of the few they had on the roster last season.
For the Celtics, who need to add as much young talent as possible, the chance to bring a scorer like O.J. Mayo into the fold is something they must jump on. As long as Memphis is willing to part with him—and another team doesn't swoop in with a huge offer—Mayo could very well end up in Boston this fall.
Odds Mayo is wearing Celtic green next season: 1/3