O.J. Mayo looked poised to become a household name after a rookie year in which he averaged 18.5 points, and he still looked on pace when he scored a more efficient 17.5 per contest during his sophomore campaign.
That career path went south when the Memphis Grizzlies began using Mayo as their sixth man, a decision that had as much to do with Tony Allen's defensive prowess as anything involving Mayo.
With the reduction in his role, Mayo looked more and more like a marginally efficient role player than any kind of star. With a change of scenery and an opportunity to return to prominence with the Dallas Mavericks, there's buzz surrounding the shooting guard for the first time in a long time, at least if you listen to team owner Mark Cuban, ESPN Dallas' Tim MacMahon quoted:
"I think he can be a star," said Cuban, who insists he sees a long-term future for Mayo in Dallas. "And I think O.J. knows that this is his make-or-break, who-am-I-really-going-to-be-in-this-league year. Coach (Rick Carlisle) is going to give him that opportunity. We'll see what happens."
Cuban isn't just making noise. He very well may have come away with an epic steal of a signing, and the Mavs may be contending for titles again because of it.
Here's a look at five reasons to be so optimistic about Mayo's prospects in Dallas.