By David Mayo | email@example.com
on March 08, 2013 at 1:45 PM, updated March 08, 2013 at 1:46 PM
O.J. Mayo is one of the most attractive unrestricted free agents on the market at shooting guard this summer and the Detroit Pistons have money to spend. So where would Mayo rank on your Pistons' wish list?
The Mavericks guard ranks 15th in the league in 3-point percentage at a career-best 42 percent, a bit off an even hotter early-season pace. But if Mayo can shoot 40 percent on 3-pointers, he helps a team. He's at an age when he might be coming into his own and he certainly isn't going to exercise his $4.2 million player option this year.
Teams are going to be hot on Mayo's tail when free agency opens. Should the Pistons be one of them?
I'll give a two-pronged answer. One, Mayo is near the top of the wish list because the Pistons have need for his particular skill and he can provide some insurance if Jose Calderon doesn't re-sign. Two, I'm not breaking the bank for Mayo because there are other ways to address the Pistons' various needs. If he doesn't want to talk, then call Kevin Martin's agent next. Or a rival general manager about a trade. Or a college coach whose guard you might draft.
Mayo is the leading scorer on a substandard team that needs a youth infusion, played half the season without Dirk Nowitzki and has suffered in the rugged Western Conference. The Mavs might be inclined to keep Mayo because of his scoring punch and youth but it will cost them.
Getting Mayo for a low-eight-figure salary will prove a worthwhile expenditure. He could give the Pistons a reliable scoring presence at shooting guard and allow Brandon Knight to shift back to the point if Calderon leaves. Mayo also could give the Pistons greater flexibility in deciding how to end Rodney Stuckey's time with them. He's no maximum contract guy but he's certainly worth a serious bid.
It’s hard to know exactly how much the Pistons value Mayo but there’s no doubt he should be high on their list. They need to figure out what they want to do with Jose Calderon and Brandon Knight first.
But when it comes to free agents, he should be on their radar. Mayo is young (25) but has five years of experience. He’s a decent scorer with a 15.6 average per game and he’ll give you a couple of rebounds and assists per game.
The one area the Pistons really need to upgrade next season is 3-point shooting. Although he averages less than two per game, Mayo shoots a high percentage and his production obviously would increase with more opportunities.
He's certainly worth a hard look.
Where does O.J. Mayo rank on your Detroit Pistons free-agent wish list?