It’s never too early to discuss free agency. Well, yeah, it is too early, but the Mavs actually don’t have anything on the agenda in terms of participation in games that actually count. With that in mind, we’ve gotten our first bit of information in terms of free agent news. It’s not really a shocker.
ESPN 1500 in Minnesota reported late last week that it has “heard from multiple angles” that the Minnesota Timberwolves might target free-agent guard O.J. Mayo. When talking about Minnesota it’s important to remember that they’re under new management now. President of Basketball Operations Flip Saunders took over as David Kahn was fired.
Why would Minnesota want Mayo?
They were the worst team in the league in terms of 3-point percentage. Saying they were the worst is not hyperbole. They shot a league worst 30.5 percent from distance. To their credit, I think, they only took 18.0 treys per game.
Desperate, they took a chance on Brandon Roy this season to help fill the role of a shooter. We all know how that turned out. Clearly, they need someone who can help spread the floor. Mayo can certainly do that. Mayo shot a career-best 40.7 percent from 3-point range for the Mavs. That also includes the 33.3 percent he shot from beyond the arc in the final 21 games of the season.
If Rick Adelman returns to coach the Wolves, he’s surely going to find a way to make Mayo successful in Minnesota. That would be quite the run of coaches Mayo would get guidance from as both Rick Carlisle and Rick Adelman are considered to be two of the best coaches in terms of offense. With pieces like Kevin Love and Ricky Rubio in the mix, all he would have to do is be a shooter. That’s the role that is best for him.
It’s nice to have role players fill out your roster, but it eventually comes down to putting the ball in the basket. For all of his shortcomings, Mayo can still shoot the ball.
New management or not, the Wolves did like Mayo at some point as they originally drafted Mayo before trading him to Memphis for the rights to Kevin Love. It makes plenty of sense for them to like him as a free agent.
What problems does this interest present to Dallas?
Obvious ones. Despite the struggles to end the year, they like Mayo. They invested a lot of time and effort into developing him during the year. Carlisle referenced that he felt like a little league dad as he saw Mayo play. His last impression might not be great as his performance soured, but the club liked how Mayo approached the season and his overall work ethic. Again, things didn’t work out, but that’s not to say that he’s doomed going forward as a prospect.
Dallas does like Mayo, so he’s still in the plans as a free agent. Rick Carlisle said it best though during his exit interview. “Like everything else in this world, this is probably going to come down to money,” Carlisle said.
Money is going to be the big issue for both teams. Dallas has visions of big free agents, making available cap space limited for the time being. Minnesota will eventually have to deal with a long-term extension for Ricky Rubio, they’ve already committed money to Kevin Love and have restricted free agent Nikola Pekovic up in the air. It’s certainly possible for both parties to come away relatively happy in this situation. Dallas could bow out of the running for Mayo, Minnesota could sign him and Dallas could pursue Pekovic.
The lobotomized muscle for General Zod…wait. Okay, he just looks like Jack O’Halloran, the actor who portrayed Non in the Christopher Reeve Superman movies in late 70’s and early 80’s.
Pekovic is quite the intriguing possibility as a free agent. Whether talking about Mayo or Pekovic, the sign-and-trade angle for both parties makes it even more interesting.
One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Mayo was certainly not trash, but he certainly did show some massive inconsistencies. This report from Minnesota shows that if Dallas is interested in keeping Mayo, they might have to get in line. Don’t be surprised if you hear names like Utah or Indiana pop up as potential suitors for Mayo. While there may be names on the market that are better than Mayo, he’s still going to be a name that is in constant discussion. It’s a simple case of supply and demand.
Bryan Gutierrez writes about sportsmen. He also attended Ball So Hard University, studying ideologies of Clark Kent. You can follow him on Twitter @BallinWithBryan.