What's Next for O.J. Mayo After Mixed 2012-13 NBA Season?
Mavericks fans, I hope you've enjoyed your time with O.J Mayo, because you can pretty much consider him as good as gone after telling the media he will decline to pick up his player option this summer.
When Mark Cuban put this roster together for 2012-13, he did so using a number of one- and two-year contracts to hold fans over. Temporary fill-ins, if you will.
Mayo averaged 15.3 points per game this season in somewhat inconsistent fashion. He was phenomenal for the half of the year, but struggled to coexist with Dirk Nowitzki when he returned from injury mid-season.
Take a look at his statistics per month. Notice the drop-off from December to April.
|Month||Points per game||Field-Goal percentage|
He made news recently after coach Rick Carlisle specifically called a timeout to chastise him on the sidelines. Carlisle referred to himself as a little-league dad, painting a picture of Mayo's immaturity as a young yet talented player.
There's just something about Mayo that gives you the feeling he's not there 100 percent of the time. His talent comes so effortlessly that sometimes his motor and concentration suffer. The Mavericks missed the playoffs this season, which isn't Mark Cuban's style.
But there's no doubt there will be interest in Mayo's services this summer. Mayo clearly knows how to score and generate his own offense, and still at only 25 years old, growth and improvement is not out of the question.
A team like Phoenix seems like a potential landing spot, as the Suns showed heavy interest in Mayo last summer before settling on Michael Beasley.
Based on Mayo's skill set, he's probably better off as a sixth man for a good team than a No. 1 or No. 2 option for a bad team. Personally, I thought Mayo was most effective coming off the bench for the Memphis Grizzlies.
But there are a number of bad teams out there that will be searching for someone to put the ball in the hole. And that's what Mayo does well. Count on him to make some shots off the ball and create scoring opportunities for himself with it in his hands.
Mayo will be looking for a long-term deal this summer. My bet is on Phoenix as the team that gives it to him, considering its lack of offensive weapons on the current roster.
Minnesota has shown interest in the past, and with a glaring hole at the off-guard position, the Timberwolves should be another team to watch for. Chicago and Detroit are others who've been linked to Mayo, both of which have a need for a scorer.
So how much is Mayo worth? The current deal he's opting out of would have paid him only $4.2 million next season, after he failed to generate much long-term interest from teams last summer.
Eric Gordon managed to land a deal that pays him roughly $14-to-$15 million for four years. How far off is Mayo from a guy like Gordon?
Chances are he's not going to make those kind of dollars, but you'd expect the market to be larger for Mayo this summer.
Dallas will have boatloads of money to spend, the question is whether or not they want to on this particular player.
There's likely to be heavy interest in a scoring guard like Mayo in a free-agent pool that lacks pizzazz. He just single-handedly improved the available talent that needy teams will be targeting.
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