O.J. Mayo to opt out of contract, wants to re-sign with the Mavs

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

As expected, O.J. Mayo has opted out of his player option, which would have paid him 4.2 million dollars to be a Maverick for another year. There was just a little bit of doubt on this, given O.J.'s shaky play of late, but one assumes that Mayo is interested in getting a long-term deal as soon as possible, even if it's not that big a raise. It's likely, of course, that he will be looking for a big raise but it's hard to know what he'll get.

On the one hand, Mayo is a 25 year old with a world of offensive talent who expanded his playmaking extensively this year. On the other hand, he averaged 8.6 points in May on sub-40% shooting and had nearly a 2:1 assist to turnover ratio. He was only a little bit better in March.

Donnie, Carlisle and Cuban have all expressed interest in Mayo to varying degrees, and Mayo has expressed an interest in coming back. Obviously, he has not been what the Mavs hoped he would be or what he seemed he might be earlier in the season, but outside of Brandan Wright it's not clear the Mavs currently have any other pieces to go forward with.

At this point, all I can is the basketball market is weird. There doesn't seem to be a compelling reason for people to line up to pay a lot of money for a guy who couldn't find a contract last year and had numbers exactly in line with his career numbers. On the other hand, his high-profile early successes in leading the Mavs might have resurrected the idea of him as a talent worth taking a flyer on despite the fact that he's two 20-point games since February 6th.

My guess is, if the Mavs can lock hm down for several years at 6-7 they will, if it's 9-10 they won't. Hard to know what you'll get from Mayo, but frankly the Mavs are not in as much position to be choosy as some folks might believe if they want to get anything going while Dirk's still here--or keep Dirk happy so he stays here, period.

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