Just the Luck of the Draw: O.J. Mayo Shuffling Out of Memphis Grizzlies Deck?
Following last week’s airplane gambling scuffle with teammate Tony Allen, O.J. Mayo may just have sealed his fate in Memphis.
Mayo was already becoming increasingly frustrated in Memphis due to his lack of playing time and appears ready to move on.
Perhaps it’s time for Memphis to move on as well as the cards have not been dealt exactly how they envisioned with Mayo.
Mayo is currently averaging 12.9 points but he definitely feels he could be averaging more on a team where he is the focal point.
With teams seemingly listening to any and all offers to improve their squad before the trade deadline, here are 20 teams who might be interested in acquiring O.J. Mayo and why he would be a good fit for them.
20. Utah Jazz
The Jazz need another offensive threat off the bench to replace Raja Bell in the starting lineup when they aren’t playing Kobe Bryant.
The Jazz could offer C.J. Miles and Ronnie Price who will both be coming off the books this offseason. Price and Miles would serve as backups to Mike Conley and Rudy Gay, respectively.
19. Golden State Warriors
The Warriors are always looking to score more points. They have a very good young backcourt in Stephen Curry and Monta Ellis. Although the Warriors don’t need to get any smaller, they would create a very good offensive “Small Three,” which could light up opponents.
The Warriors could offer Vladimir Radmanovic, his $6.8 million expiring contract and outside shooting prowess at the forward position to Memphis in exchange for Mayo and Darrell Arthur.
18. Houston Rockets
The Rockets are still looking to upgrade offensively.
Mayo would provide a spark plug behind Kevin Martin.
The Grizzlies need a role player up front and Jared Jeffries with his $6.8 expiring contract would help out Memphis.
Both teams could fill needs.
17. Portland Trail Blazers
Every year the Trail Blazers suffer from injuries.
Once again, Brandon Roy is dealing with a knee injury and is out indefinitely. His knees have been an issue for years.
The Trail Blazers are struggling to consistently put up points with Roy sidelined, so Portland could use Mayo for his shooting touch.
Portland could send Rudy Fernandez, who isn’t entirely happy in Portland, and Joel Przybilla and his $7 million expiring contract to Memphis. Portland would acquire Mayo and Tony Allen or Hasheem Thabeet.
16. Washington Wizards
The Wizards have a solid backcourt with Kirk Hinrich and rookie sensation John Wall. Adding Mayo to the starting lineup would give Wizards fans something to cheer about.
The Grizzlies could acquire Josh Howard or Yi Jianlian as they both have expiring contracts and the Wizards have no use for them.
In order to improve their bench, which Howard and Jianlian would not do, the Grizzlies could ask for both Nick Young and Al Thornton.
15. Denver Nuggets
The Nuggets are ready to move on from this era of the franchise.
Mayo would be able to start the new era.
The Nuggets could offer J.R. Smith and his expiring $6.7 million contract. Smith would still be the spark plug off the bench he is in Denver, only now for Memphis. The Grizzlies could use an explosive player like Smith off the bench who isn’t afraid to take a three-pointer or drive to the hoop.
14. Oklahoma City Thunder
The Thunder don’t necessarily need Mayo since they have Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. However, Mayo would represent and upgrade over Thabo Sefolosha and continue to give the Thunder the best young core in the league.
The Thunder could offer Daequan Cook and Cole Aldrich. The Grizzlies would receive two bench players and Cook will come off the books in the offseason.
13. Philadelphia 76ers
The 76ers have a quality young backcourt, but appear to be set to rebuild the team somehow. Andre Iguodala is no longer safe in Philly.
Imagine if the Grizzlies could somehow acquire Iguodala to pair with Rudy Gay?
A few interesting packages could be done here.
One could be Zach Randolph and O.J. Mayo for Iguodala, Spencer Hawes and Darius Songaila with his $6 million expiring contract. The Grizzlies would still be able to use Hawes in the front court and would have a great duo with Iguodala and Gay. The 76ers would welcome Randolph and his $17 million expiring contract.
If the Grizzlies don’t want to part ways with Randolph just yet, they could acquire Iguodala by sending Mayo, Hasheem Thabeet and Tony Allen. The 76ers would have four quality players in its backcourt while adding a defensive-minded center which they desperately need.
12. New Jersey Nets
While the Nets are desperately trying to land Carmelo Anthony, they still need to find alternative routes to upgrading their team.
O.J. Mayo would inject some more life into this struggling franchise trying to rebuild.
Nets could offer Sasha Vujacic to the Grizzlies. Vujacic would be a fine fit off the bench in Memphis with his $5.4 million expiring contract.
11. Sacramento Kings
If the Kings could land Mayo, they would have one of the brightest young backcourts in the league pairing Mayo with Tyreke Evans.
The Grizzlies and Kings could work on two possible trades here.
The first would be Mayo for Carl Landry. The Grizzlies need help off the bench in the front court and Landry is a fine young player. The Grizzlies could even decide to re-sign him in the offseason.
The Grizzlies could also try to acquire defensive center Samuel Dalembert and his $13 million expiring contract. The Grizzlies would still upgrade up front and would be able to work with Marc Gasol and Dalembert splitting time at the center position. The Grizzlies need a defensive center to compete in the West.
The Grizzlies would send Mayo, Tony Allen and Hasheem Thabeet to Sacramento. The Kings would be welcoming three young players with a ton of potential and have a lot of pieces to work with as they try to improve for next year.
10. Charlotte Bobcats
Michael Jordan has made it known that he wants to dismantle the Bobcats.
Charlotte could send veteran Stephen Jackson to the Grizzlies in exchange for Mayo and Tony Allen.
This would help both teams as the Grizzlies need a stronger veteran presence in the starting lineup.
Charlotte could benefit by boosting up their back court. Mayo would be able to start while Tony Allen could come off the bench.
9. New Orleans Hornets
The Hornets need another offensive threat for Chris Paul to work with. New Orleans is starting to slip quickly could anger Paul again if they don’t do something to improve the team.
Marco Belinelli is better fitted off the bench instead of the starting lineup.
The Hornets have a few players they could potentially offer. Jarrett Jack is an interesting choice for the Grizzlies to use as their sixth man. They might also be interested in a package surrounding center Aaron Gray and Jason Smith to give the front court more bodies.
They may also just want to acquire Belinelli so that he can come off the bench as a three-point specialist.
8. Indiana Pacers
The Pacers desperately need another scorer on the team to take some pressure off Danny Granger.
Mike Dunleavy will never cut it as an NBA starter.
The Pacers are setting themselves up nicely for the offseason with several expiring contracts on the books.
The Pacers could offer one of their expiring contracts, such as center Jeff Foster for Mayo, or DeMarre Carroll or Darrell Arthur.
7. Dallas Mavericks
Mark Cuban is always in motion. He’s constantly trying to upgrade his team.
Now that Caron Butler is forced to miss the rest of the season due to injury, the Mavericks are left trying to upgrade once again.
Mayo could provide the Mavericks a bit of a spark.
The Mavericks could offer DeShawn Stevenson to the Grizzlies who would be able to assist them defensively.
The Mavericks would upgrade offensively by giving Jason Kidd another option to work with on the wing now that Shawn Marion has stepped into the starting lineup for Butler.
6. Toronto Raptors
Like Cleveland, the Raptors are trying to find a way to spark interest in their team after their star, Chris Bosh, deserted them.
Mayo would be instant offense for the Raptors and would add another nice outside shooting option for Jose Calderon to go with center Andrea Bargnani.
Ideally, the Grizzlies would want Peja Stojakovic and his huge expiring contract. That way after the season Stojakovic and Zach Randolph’s contracts could come off the books. That is unlikely, but the Grizzlies could still receive an expiring contract while upgrading their front court as they push for a playoff berth.
The Grizzlies could acquire Reggie Evans to come off the bench and help defensively. Evans also has a $5 million expiring contract that would come off the books this offseason. This would give the Grizzlies an opportunity to make a run at a big free agent in the summer.
If not Evans, the Grizzlies could also attempt to acquire Leandro Barbosa and his $7 million expiring contract. Of course, the Grizzlies would have to add a player like Tony Allen to match salaries.
The Raptors would love to acquire a defensive center like Thabeet as well. In such a deal the Raptors would have to send Barbosa and a player like Jerryd Bayless or Julian Wright back to the Grizzlies.
5. Cleveland Cavaliers
After "King James" left, the Cavaliers were left to pick up the pieces and rebuild.
They just lost Anderson Varejao for the season and could also be losing their fan base.
The Cavaliers could use a young potential superstar to come in and rejuvenate the city. This is exactly the scenario Mayo is looking for.
Cleveland could also use a defensive center and it just so happens that they have one in Hasheem Thabeet, who is barely utilized by the Grizzlies.
The Grizzlies could send Mayo, Thabeet and Tony Allen to the Cavaliers for Antawn Jamison. Jamison is still a serviceable veteran and if the Grizzlies make a push for the seven or eight seed in the West, they will need another power forward who can shoot to try and advance past the first round.
4. Minnesota Timberwolves
The Timberwolves actually drafted Mayo but decided to trade him on draft day for Kevin Love.
That worked out perfectly for the T’Wolves, but this young team is in dire need of another scorer.
Mayo is looking to be the man on a team and he could be just that alongside Kevin Love.
Mayo, Love, Michael Beasley and Ricky Rubio next year would create one of the best young groups of players in the Association. Mayo would adore playing with a magician like Rubio.
The Wolves can offer two different packages. The first consisting of Johnny Flynn and Sebastian Telfair. Yes, the Grizzlies would take on two point guards to go along with Mike Conley, but Flynn would serve as an explosive player off their bench for the next two seasons. Telfair’s contract expires at the end of the season.
The Grizzlies could also demand Martell Webster who is enjoying a nice season. He would be a very good fit for Memphis also.
3. Chicago Bulls
The Bulls could use an upgrade at the shooting guard position as well as another outside shooter.
Mayo fits the bill perfectly for the Bulls. He would be a prime compliment to Rose’s driving ability and court vision.
With Joakim Noah out, the Bulls could use an influx of offense to make up for their lack of interior defense.
The Bulls could send Ronnie Brewer, who has a solid role player, which is what the Grizzlies need right now, with Rudy Gay taking over.
2. Phoenix Suns
The Suns are struggling and need a spark plug as soon as possible.
They just traded for Marcin Gortat, Vince Carter and Mikael Pietrus but the Suns need to look towards their future. Who is going to be their primary scorer?
O.J. Mayo can be that man and he can learn a lot by playing with Steve Nash for the next year and a half.
Mayo would be a prime compliment to Nash’s immense passing ability.
The Grizzlies could take back Pietrus who has an expiring contract and a veteran presence. He would work well as their sixth man.
Meanwhile, the Suns would give their fans an exciting backcourt to watch with Nash, Mayo and Vince Carter playing small forward.
1. New York Knicks
It doesn’t look like the Knicks will land Denver Nuggets superstar Carmelo Anthony.
They need a defensive player at the forward or center position, but Mike D’Antoni’s system has never been about defense, it’s been about offense. So why not improve their offense by acquiring a player who would fit perfectly in his system?
Memphis could bolster their bench as they make a push for the playoffs by trading Mayo for Kelenna Azubuike and Toney Douglas.
Douglas is essentially a poor man’s Mayo, but perhaps he could catch fire off the Grizzlies bench.