Add O.J. Mayo to the list of wing players the Los Angeles Clippers are interested in via free agency or trade:
In wake of the widely-expected Chris Paul news, I’m told Clippers’ second call last night was to OJ Mayo.Doc Rivers has serious interest.
— Sam Amick (@sam_amick) July 1, 2013
Opposite of Tony Allen, whom I wrote the Clippers were interested in earlier today, Mayo’s strength is strictly offense. During his lone season with the Dallas Mavericks, Mayo averaged 15.3 points on 44 percent shooting (.40 percent from three). While this stat isn’t the end-all of stats, Mayo sported a PER of 13.9 last year, his lowest since entering the league. The league average PER is 15.0.
Like Allen the most the Clippers can offer Mayo is a mid-level of $5.1 million, but Marc Stein of ESPN reports that a Mayo for Eric Bledsoe may be in the works between Los Angeles and Dallas:
Add a new suitor to Eric Bledsoe sign-and-trade derby: Clips and Mavs discussing Bledsoe-for-OJ Mayo in live S-and-T scenarios
— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) July 1, 2013
Bledsoe’s value is extremely high at the moment. There’s a chance that the Clippers can get much more value for Bledsoe than O.J. especially with the Arron Afflalo or J.J. Redick being linked to the team.
Mayo’s a tricky player. His game is best served as a sixth man similar to the J.R. Smith‘s and Jamal Crawford‘s of the NBA, but he’s made it clear that that isn’t the role he wants to play after his departure from the Memphis Grizzlies. Since Crawford is a member of the Clippers, Mayo would be thrust into the starting lineup alongside Chris Paul. He isn’t an all-world defender, but considering the team deployed Chauncey Billups at the 2-guard last season it’s a certain upgrade.
The biggest problem choosing Mayo over Redick, Afflalo, etc. is that Mayo is best when he has the ball in his hands. That’s not going to happen playing alongside the best point guard in the world in CP3. Redick and Afflalo can be effective without the ball in their hands while providing a decent hand in the teams defense, with Afflalo being the better defender of the three.
Doc Rivers has options going forward. The easiest one would be keeping Eric Bledsoe until the coaching deadline, but if he decides against it, he’ll have Mayo, Afflalo, Redick and possibly others waiting in the wings.