OJ Mayo: Newest Dallas Mavericks Acquisition Helps Guarantee Return to Playoffs

Adam FromalNational NBA Featured ColumnistJuly 17, 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

The Dallas Mavericks were in the midst of a terrible offseason when the moves starting flowing and won't stop now. 

O.J. Mayo, who reported the signing with a tweet, is the newest acquisition and his presence will help guarantee a return to the playoffs:

I will be signing with dallas! #Mavsnation

— OJ Mayo (@JuiceMayo32) July 17, 2012

After being swept out of the first round of the playoffs by the Oklahoma City Thunder, the Mavericks lost both Jason Kidd and Jason Terry to the New York Knicks and Boston Celtics, respectively. They watched as Steve Nash and Deron Williams both signed with other teams, spurning them during their hunt for a new point guard to start over Rodrigue Beaubois. 

Then Mark Cuban's franchise traded for Darren Collison, signed Chris Kaman and picked up Elton Brand after he was anesthetized by the Philadelphia 76ers

Despite that trio of moves, the Mavericks still had to be considered playoff contenders, not quite at the "playoff lock" level. 

The acquisition of Mayo changes that. 

Mayo may have struggled with his shot over the past two seasons, but a change in locale should provide him with a fresh jolt of confidence. He still has a smooth stroke and great touch from the outside, he just needs to believe in himself and have an organization believe in him once more. 

Points are going to have to come from somewhere in this backcourt, which frees up more shots for Mayo. The more he shoots, the more confidence he'll gain when he starts hitting. 

Plus, Mayo fills in the outside shooting void left when the Jet boarded a jet (presumably) headed for Boston.

Vince Carter was holding down the fort at shooting guard before this most recent signing, but Half Man/Half Amazing—more 80 Percent Man/20 percent Amazing at this point—should move to the bench and cede the starting role to Mayo. Doing so will preserve his aging body a bit more and allow him to look more like Half Man/Half Amazing  

While the Mavericks are always going to be in contention for a berth in the postseason while Dirk Nowitzki is present, the master of the flamingo shot isn't able to completely carry his team anymore.

He does need help, and Mayo's presence gives it to him. 

Despite the number of powers in the Western Conference and the ridiculous amount of up-and-comers, the Mavericks are going to be going back to the playoffs.