March 10, 2012; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Memphis Grizzlies shooting guard O.J. Mayo (32) warms up before the game against the Phoenix Suns at the US Airways Center. The Suns defeated the Grizzlies 98-91. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-US PRESSWIRE
In case you haven't heard, former #3 pick and McDonalds All-American O.J Mayo is signing with the Dallas Mavericks. Here are some opinions about him:
Jean-Jacques Taylor is not amused:
Your Dallas Mavericks have been legitimate title contenders each season for about a decade.
Not right now, anyway. And unless they can figure out a way to acquire a superstar of Dirk Nowitzki's caliber during the next couple of seasons, it's going to be a while before they're contenders again, no matter how much financial flexibility and dry powder they have.
The reality is it's going to take some time to grow accustomed to viewing the Mavs as merely a playoff contender in the Western Conference and changing the standard by which we judge them.
For a couple of weeks, the Mavs had us gung ho over the prospect of adding Deron Williams to the roster. Now, we're supposed to get excited about Elton Brand and O.J. Mayo, who reportedly agreed to terms with the club late Monday night.
No one gets excited about a backup power forward/center who averaged a career-low 11 points and 7.1 rebounds, the second-lowest mark of his career, as a 33-year-old with Philadelphia. After all, the 76ers let him go through the league's amnesty program because they deemed -- correctly -- that he was no longer worth the $18.1 million he was scheduled to earn.
Now, he's a member of the Mavs for the consignment shop price of $2.1 million.
And you must be suspicious when an up-and-coming playoff team such as Memphis that finished tied with the Los Angeles Lakers for the third-best record in the West essentially lets Mayo walk for nothing.
Jason McIntyre is not terribly impressed either:
OJ Mayo signed a 2-year deal with the Dallas Mavericks, and he’ll add pop to an offense that lost its second-best player, as well as act as a fire extinguisher to put out thatdumpster fire that is the franchise.
Since losing Jason Terry and Jason Kidd, Mark Cuban has responded by essentially walking around the bar at closing time and going for any single female left in the place who had a pulse:
- 33-year-old Elton Brand, who bottomed out last year in Philly – 11 ppg, 7.2 rpg
- 30-year-old Chris Kaman, who, despite 16.2 ppg and 9.6 rpg on awful New Orleans, had no serious suitors [Kaman sidenote: He took aswing at Bill Simmons on twitter, picking up where Cuban left off]
and traded for …
- 24-year-old Darren Collison, who might become their starting point guard
A quick word about Mayo – on a loaded team in Memphis, with a solid point guard, a stud in Rudy Gay, and two powerful interior players – he shot just 40 percent from the field the last two seasons. He shot 36 percent on 3-pointers the last two years, too. Did the league solve him after his 18.5 ppg explosion as a rookie? Or did he just not fit in Memphis, which is why his minutes dwindled from 38 as a rookie to 26 the last two years? (Cough, Tony Allen, cough.) Or was Mayo demoted to the bench because he’s so one-dimensional?
Hoopsworld is slightly more optimistic:
A former top-5 overall pick, Mayo was allowed to hit free agency by the Memphis Grizzlies after the team declined to make a $7.4 million qualifying offer to the fourth-year guard. Dallas was roughly $4 million under the cap but details of the deal have not been released and it’s unknown if Mayo will join the Mavericks via sign and trade.
Mayo, who averaged 12.6 points per contest in a reserve role with the Grizzlies last season, will likely have a larger role with a Dallas team featuring only Vince Carter and Dahntay Jones as other possible starters at the two-guard position. As a starter, during his first two seasons in Memphis, Mayo averaged 18 points per game on 45 percent shooting – both stats much higher than those he produced over the previous two seasons in a reserve role.
On the other hand, Mayo could be looked upon to fill former Mav Jason Terry’s role as both a Sixth Man and a player that closes out games in crunch time for Dallas. Regardless, the signing of the versatile Mayo would give the Mavericks plenty of options at both guard positions.
The Dallas Morning News is too:
Mayo has averaged 15.2 points during his four NBA seasons, all with Memphis.
Though primarily a shooting guard for the Grizzlies, the Mavericks view him as having the ability to play both guard positions.
Dallas also sees Mayo as an explosive athlete who can get to the rim, as well as the free-throw line, and be part of an effective pick-and-roll tandem with Dirk Nowitzki.
Mayo came off the bench the last two seasons in Memphis, but he may well become the Mavericks’ new starting shooting guard.
SB Nation's thoughts:
O.J. Mayo, arguably the NBA's best unsigned free agent, has picked his team. After drawing interest from numerous teams -- notably, the Los Angeles Lakers, Boston Celtics, Chicago Bulls and Phoenix Suns -- the 24-year-old shooting guard announced via Twitter that he's headed to the Dallas Mavericks:
Details of Mayo's contract have yet to surface, but it's a win for the Mavericks, who have rebounded nicely from a slow start to the offseason. After missing out on Deron Williamsand losing Jason Kidd and Jason Terry, the Mavericks have since traded for Darren Collison, landed Elton Brand off amnesty waivers and signed Mayo.
Mayo, the third overall draft pick in 2008, should benefit from a change of scenery after four years with the Memphis Grizzlies. He came off the bench in all 66 games last year -- averaging 12.6 points, 3.2 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game -- but could easily emerge as a full-time starter with the Mavs.
Finally, Straight Outta Vancouver's post with selection comments:
Good luck, Dallas Mavericks. I'm kidding, of course. In all honesty, I wish him well and we'll definitely miss the Juice. And I'm pretty sure he's found a better situation in Dallas than he had in Memphis.
Now, as for as the particulars in the deal, I'm not sure yet what he got, but he was asking the Phoenix Suns for $10 million per season. So either the Mavs found a way to make it work, financially, or Mayo had to take a bit of a "pay cut."
Grizzlies fans, your thoughts on Mayo -- let's say our goodbyes!
----OJ will make Dallas fans miss JET. Mark my words I'll be interested to see how they use him. With Collison at the point, I could see them both being sort of combo guards in a flexible offense. Obviously, The Dirk will still be the primary option.
OJ and Dirk on the floor is gonna be cool to watch.
My best wishes to you, OJ. Twas fun!
No hard feelings here, right?
I mean, he and Lionel just didn’t fit well together. And it’s not as if he was Hasheem Thabeet bad. He just wasn’t the franchise-changer we had hoped he would be, and when you consider we traded Kevin Love to get him… I think he’s "going to a better place." I still don’t see him being an 18ppg guy, but he’ll get his 15 per game and he’ll get a chance to play some point every once in a while.
Best of luck, Juice.