NBA Rumors: Ranking Ideal Landing Spots for O.J. Mayo

Adam Fromal@fromal09National NBA Featured ColumnistJuly 16, 2012

NBA Rumors: Ranking Ideal Landing Spots for O.J. Mayo

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    Regardless of whether NBA general managers are drawn to him because of his production or his leftover draft hype, O.J. Mayo is one of the premier free agents left unclaimed. 

    Yahoo! Sports' Marc J. Spears reports that the unrestricted shooting guard is receiving interest from four teams and that he'll make a decision in roughly a week-and-a-half: 

    Free agent G OJ Mayo getting interest from Lakers, Chicago, Phoenix and Dallas and hopes to make decision in next 10 days, source tells Y!

    — Marc J. Spears (@SpearsNBAYahoo) July 14, 2012

    So, how do these teams stack up as potential landing spots for the former USC Trojan? 

    Read on to find out. 

4. Dallas Mavericks

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    After the additions of Darren Collison, Elton Brand and Chris Kaman, the Dallas Mavericks are appear as though they'll be back in the postseason hunt once more. Adding O.J. Mayo would only help. 

    I'm still not sold on this team, though, despite the intriguing new pieces. The roster is still incredibly old, and there's no telling how long Dirk Nowitzki can continue to carry this team. 

    With Mayo potentially replacing Vince Carter in the starting lineup, he'd have a chance to shine once more. However, given how often the ball has to be in Dirk's hands, there's no guarantee that he'd regain his old form. 

    Plus, it's tough to project much cohesiveness for this new-look starting lineup. 

3. Phoenix Suns

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    Of the four options, O.J. Mayo would receive the most playing time with the Phoenix Suns. In fact, he might even be inserted into the starting lineup from day one. 

    With the addition of Mayo, the Suns would be looking at a starting five with only one returning player: Goran Dragic, Mayo, Michael Beasley, Luis Scola and Marcin Gortat. 

    That's a solid lineup, one that would absolutely have the desert-based franchise in contention for a playoff spot all year long. However, the Suns wouldn't be title contenders, and that has to factor into Mayo's desires. 

    Maybe the heat in Phoenix would help make Mayo's shooting hot once more after he made only 27.4 percent of his field-goal attempts during this past postseason. 

2. Chicago Bulls

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    The Chicago Bulls desperately need to find a way to minimize the loss of scoring they suffered when Derrick Rose went down with an ACL injury in the first game of the postseason contest with the Philadelphia 76ers. 

    They're solid across the board, with the exception of the two guard positions. Obviously, that will change with the return of the former MVP. 

    O.J. Mayo would be able to play in a system that not only needs his scoring talent, but also has a coach in place who can get him back into form. Tom Thibodeau is one of the greatest head coaches in the NBA, and he would do wonders for the revitalization of Mayo's career. 

    Although he wouldn't get as much playing time as he would with the previous two teams, he'd have much more of a shot to make noise in the playoffs. 

1. Los Angeles Lakers

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    Given the youth and dominance of the Oklahoma City Thunder, it's hard to imagine anyone overtaking them as the preeminent favorites in the Western Conference. However, the potential addition of O.J. Mayo could very well push the Los Angeles Lakers over the top. 

    Unlike with the other three teams, it would be impossible for Mayo to earn a starting nod. There's a snowball's chance in hell that he knocks Kobe Bryant back to the bench. 

    Mayo would be relegated to leading the charge from the bench and serving as the sixth man, but he'd make for a rock-solid option there. 

    With Steve Nash, Kobe, Metta World Peace, Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum forming arguably the best starting five in the league, having a great bench is invaluable in the title hunt. 

    Mayo would be favoring winning over personal glory here, but it would be well worth it.