Former No. 3 Overall NBA Pick OJ Mayo to Sign Contract with Liaoning in China

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistMarch 29, 2020

FILE - In this Feb. 20, 2016, file photo, Milwaukee Bucks guard O.J. Mayo waits during a break in the in the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Atlanta Hawks in Atlanta. Mayo has been dismissed and disqualified from the NBA for violating the terms of the league's anti-drug program, the NBA said Friday, July 1, 2016. Mayo, the No. 3 overall pick in the 2008 draft out of USC, is eligible to apply for reinstatement in two years.  (AP Photo/Brett Davis, File)
Brett Davis/Associated Press

O.J. Mayo, who was the No. 3 overall pick of the 2008 NBA draft, is reportedly on the verge of signing with the Liaoning Flying Leopards of the Chinese Basketball Association.

Kevin Wang of ESPN.com reported the news Sunday, noting Mayo landed in Shenyang on Friday and is now in the mandated 14-day coronavirus quarantine period before he can go through the medical clearance process and complete paperwork to join the league.

Wang explained the Flying Leopards were in search of a third import player because of potential eligibility concerns with Lance Stephenson and Brandon Bass.

Both former NBA players have been in the United States during the coronavirus pandemic, and China has temporarily banned entry from foreign travelers in an effort to control the spread. Mayo provides something of an insurance policy should Stephenson and Bass have difficulty rejoining the team when the season, which has been on hiatus since late January, restarts.

Mayo arrived at USC as a highly regarded recruit and was named to the All-Pac-12 first team during his one collegiate season. 

His future looked bright early in his NBA career, especially after he averaged a career-best 18.5 points per game during his rookie season on the Memphis Grizzlies. He was solid again in his second season at 17.5 points per game but gradually saw his numbers dip.

Mayo also played for the Dallas Mavericks and Milwaukee Bucks during an eight-season NBA career but was eventually dismissed from the league in 2016 after he violated its substance-abuse policy.

He averaged 13.8 points, 3.1 rebounds and 2.9 assists a night in the NBA.

Wang noted the USC product has experience playing in China from when he suited up for Hunan last year in the NBL, which is the country's second-tier league.

Related

    Winners, Losers from 22-Team Plan to Resume

    @BR_NBA staff break down the winners and losers from NBA's expected return to play ➡️

    NBA logo
    NBA

    Winners, Losers from 22-Team Plan to Resume

    Bleacher Report NBA Staff
    via Bleacher Report

    Anonymous NBA Agent: Not All Players Are Enthusiastic About Return-to-Play Plan

    NBA logo
    NBA

    Anonymous NBA Agent: Not All Players Are Enthusiastic About Return-to-Play Plan

    Timothy Rapp
    via Bleacher Report

    LeBron Calls Out Drew Brees

    James responds after Brees’ anthem comments today: ‘You literally still don’t understand why Kap was kneeling on one knee?’

    NBA logo
    NBA

    LeBron Calls Out Drew Brees

    Rob Goldberg
    via Bleacher Report

    CJ McCollum: 'We Need More Aaron Rodgers and Less Drew Brees'

    NBA logo
    NBA

    CJ McCollum: 'We Need More Aaron Rodgers and Less Drew Brees'

    Rob Goldberg
    via Bleacher Report