NBA Free Agents: O.J. Mayo Must Fill Derrick Rose Void for Chicago Bulls
In fact at this point, given the dearth of intriguing offensive options left in free agency, Mayo is the only hope at filling that void.
Last season, Rose averaged 21.8 points per game during the 39 contests in which he appeared. His insane ability to get into the lane and contort his body into positions that allow him to squeeze through defensive pressure is invaluable to Chicago's cause.
Now that offensive magic is gone and replaced by some combination of Kirk Hinrich, Marquis Teague and potentially John Lucas III, if the Bulls decide to bring back the diminutive point guard. Among Hinrich's offensive limitations, JL3's size, and Teague's inexperience and rawness, there aren't going to be many points coming from that position.
Luol Deng will still be lining up at small forward, after averaging 15.3 points per game. Seeing as Deng is a defensive forward who does all the little things, it would be foolish to expect a big increase in his scoring output.
At power forward Carlos Boozer and Taj Gibson are doing just about all they can do, putting up 15.0 and 7.7 points per contest, respectively. Any increase in one of their scoring outputs would be canceled out by a decrease in that of the other.
Then there's center, where Joakim Noah guards the paint and plays with intensity on the boards. Noah will never be a scoring stud, and I'd be shocked if the former Florida Gator could ever average much more than the 10.2 points per game he put up during the 2011-2012 campaign.
That leaves shooting guard.
Mayo could immediately come in and either start over Rip Hamilton or serve as the sixth man. In either role he could put up enough points to help fill the void left in the scoring column by the former MVP's absence.
In Memphis Mayo had two great years to start his NBA career, but it seemed as though he forgot how to shoot each of the past two as his shooting percentages declined to where they currently rest, at just over 40 percent from the field.
Given a fresh start, though, Mayo can push his scoring average back to his pre-extended slump of over 15 points per contest.
The shooting guard still has a great stroke, but he needs to regain his confidence.
A fresh start with a winning organization like the Chicago Bulls could be just the injection of confidence that Mayo needs at this stage of his career.
More importantly, that confidence and offensive output is exactly what the Bulls need.
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