In the absence of the franchise player, Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas Mavericks have managed to stay above the .500 mark, currently holding a record of 7-6. O.J Mayo, who signed a 2-year $8.5 million deal with the Mavericks this off-season, has managed to establish himself as the interim go-to guy with his new team.
Mayo was selected with the third overall pick in the 2008 NBA draft, and followed it up with an impressive rookie season. Mayo started every game for the Grizzlies, averaging 18.5 points per game and finished second behind Derrick Rose for the rookie of the year award. Mayo also had a solid 2009-10 season before things took a turn for the worse.
Being late for a shootaround, getting into fights with teammates as well as having to serve a 10 game suspension for violating the league’s anti-drug program, Mayo found himself outside of the starting lineup in his 2 remaining years in Memphis.
The Grizzlies decided not to sign a qualifying offer sheet for Mayo, which allowed him to sign with the Mavericks. This season he looks a lot more like his old self, being extremely efficient in a lot of different ways. In the first 13 games of the season Mayo is averaging 22.2 points, 2.9 assists and 3.2 rebounds in 35 minutes per game. Mayo has made the most 3-pointers in the league this season, while also shooting a staggering 56.8% from beyond the arc.
Considering all these stats and that the Mavs are only paying him $8.5 million over two years, Mayo was a definite steal for Dallas. He knew that his market value had dropped significantly after two disappointing seasons. Dallas offered him a new environment, a fresh start and a terrific opportunity.
Clearly, Mayo won’t be able to sustain this kind of shooting throughout the season, but by being a starter he is now back in his comfort zone. When Nowitzki returns he will alleviate some of the scoring load off Mayo, and they will indubitably complement each other on offense. Mayo’s current form is by all means no fluke, as he is incredibly talented. With his best years still ahead of him, we will have to wait and see if he has what it takes to rise to stardom.
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