Last week, fans of the Dallas Mavericks were crying in their beer, while singing that old standard, “They’re Breaking Up That Old Gang Of Mine.” On Monday however, optimism started seeping into “BIG D” and the fans started changing their tune, to The Beatles classic “Getting Better,” as the “Star-Telegram” reported that the former NBA Champs, have reached an agreement that will put shooting guard O.J. Mayo, in a Mavericks uniform for the upcoming campaign. Terms of the deal have not been disclosed, but it is believed to be a multi-year pact.
The 24-year-old player, who recently completed his fourth season in the Association, was an unrestricted Free Agent, as his former club the Memphis Grizzlies declined to give him a qualifying offer. Mayo confirmed the report with a text message on his Twitter account, stating that his next professional home will be in Dallas.
The native of West Virginia, first gained national attention while he was in seventh grade, as he not only made the basketball team at Rose Hill Christian High School in Ashland, Kentucky; he averaged an amazing 23.1 points per contest. He followed that up as an eighth grade student by being chosen as the “Louisville Courier-Journal” selected him as a first-team all-state player.
After playing one year of college-ball at USC, Mayo entered the 2008 NBA Draft and the Minnesota Timberwolves took him with the third overall selection, then sent him to the Grizzlies that evening, for a package of players that included future All-Star forward Kevin Love. While the guard has yet to dominate in the Association as he did as a student, he has displayed talent and athleticism, during his four-year stint in Memphis.
Mayo started his first two seasons with the Grizzlies, but came off the bench during the last two years, decreasing his minutes as well as his productivity. His numbers have remained respectable however, as he has average 15.2 points, 3.3 rebounds and 2.7 assists during his four years in the NBA.
The signing is the latest move in the last few days for the Mavericks, as General Manager Donnie Nelson restocked his roster and attempts to build a respectable squad for next season. After falling short of their goal to add Free Agent point guard Deron Williams to the club, followed by veterans Jason Kidd and Jason Terry leaving the squad to sign contracts with other teams, the Mavericks have made some nice additions.
Mayo will most likely join newly acquired point guard Darren Collison and new center Chris Kaman in the starting lineup, while the team also strengthened their bench with the additions of big man Elton Brand and swingman Dahntay Jones. There have also been reports that the club would like to bring back guard Delonte West, who was with Dallas this past season.
Will the Mavericks now be a viable contender to win their second NBA Title in three years with their recent signings? Probably not, however the squad should be strong enough to get Dallas back into the Post Season, which looked unlikely just last week. Nelson and Dallas Team Owner Mark Cuban, had hoped that by creating salary cap space, they could entice Williams and other elite players to play for their club. That plan has now been put on hold until next summer, however the roster the pair put together for the upcoming campaign, should be good enough to keep Mavericks fans entertained.