The Memphis Grizzlies had some tough decisions to face this off-season with qualifying offer's pending for OJ Mayo, Marreese Speights and Darrell Arthur. After extending two of those three, Mayo was the odd one out, with Memphis opted out on extending his 7.3 million dollar dollar qualifying offer.
On July 16th, both he and Mark Cuban confirmed via Twitter that he would be signing with the Dallas Mavericks. Heading in to the free agency market, OJ Mayo was probably expecting a much more lucrative offer than the one he ended up with.
While the details have still not been confirmed, the deal is expected to last two years, with the last being a player exception. Considering the cap situation in Dallas, Mayo won't be receiving anymore than four million dollars a year. Chances are that the Mavericks talked to Mayo about his upcoming role and he felt that it was a good basketball decision for him.
OJ Mayo's most impressive year with Memphis was easily his rookie year, where his 18.5 points a game was enough to make him the runner-up behind Derrick Rose for the Rookie of the Year award. His sophomore season was rather similar, although it was slightly alarming that he hadn't improved. Either way, it was looking like OJ would be a cornerstone to the Grizzlies at this point, and would probably net a few all-star selections in his career.
However, after butting heads with head coach Lionel Hollins over the undersized shooters ability to play both guard positions, Mayo's role in Memphis went on a serious decline. Coming off the bench for the first time in his career, Mayo put up just 11 points a game on 40% shooting in 26 minutes of play. Being a part of the second unit illuminated the inconsistencies in his game, as his last year in Memphis was much the same to his third.
The Grizzlies fan base has been divided by the OJ Mayo debate in more than one way. There is a side that feels that Hollins never utilized Mayo the right way and that he's become a scapegoat to Memphis' more daunting problem regarding the chemistry between Rudy Gay and Zach Randolph. On the other side of the fence though, there are fans that believe OJ will forever be a decent player that can put up good stats on bad teams.
The next two years will be very telling for these fans.
Mayo will be one of five new additions that will be heading over to the lone-star state this season. The Mavericks recently Chris Kaman, Elton Brand, Dahntay Jones and Darren Collison along with him.Tags: Basketball, Dallas, Dallas Mavericks, Darrell Arthur, Elton Brand, Mark Cuban, Memphis, Memphis Grizzlies, NBA, OJ Mayo, Rudy Gay, Zach Randolph