The Miami Heat won the 2012 NBA Championship and decides not to stand pat and added two veteran players in Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis. The Knicks made moves by bringing back JR Smith and Steve Novak and trading for Jason Kid and Ray Felton. The Celtics resigned Kevin Garnett, Brandon Bass, and Chris Wilcox. They also signed Jason Terry and Jeff Green. The Hawks traded Johnson and Marvin Williams, while adding Louis Williams, Devin Harris and Kyle Korver. The Brooklyn Nets resigned Deron Williams, Gerald Wallace, Brook Lopez, while trading for Joe Johnson.
While every other team at the top of the Eastern Conference has mad moves to try to win a championship, the Chicago Bulls have lost more players than they have brought in. Once considered the best bench in the NBA the Bulls now only have one member of the “Bench Mob” remaining in Taj Gibson. Gone is C.J. Watson, Ronnie Brewer, Kyle Korver, and possibly Omer Asik if the Bulls decides against matching the offer sheet from Houston. The only new face brought in is an old one in Kirk Hinrich. Add to all this the fact that the Bulls will start the season with out thier two All Stars in Derrick Rose and Loul Deng in you can say that there is a bit of a problem in Chicago.
Well the solution to this problem might come in the form of a 6’5″ guard by the name of O.J. Mayo. With two All Stars down you would like to bring in another all-star but with that seemingly impossible the next best option is to bring in a player with all-star talent. Mayo has a career scoring average of 15 ppg and has proved to be a guy that can put the ball in the hole. One of the Bulls biggest needs has been at shooting guard and last year they brought in Rip Hamilton. Hamilton is an adequate pick up but he is clearly at the end of his career and can’t produce his own offense.
Enter O.J. Mayo who is a prototypical iso player with no fear. With Rose and Deng out Mayo could be a go to scorer on a team with championship aspirations. When the two stars return he could still be a key contributor on a regular basis as the number two or three option. He is also a good defender who will thrive in the Bulls Defensive scheme. The best the Bulls could offer Mayo is probably the full mid level exception but it would be wise for Mayo to except it even if it’s slightly less than another team could offer. Chicago offers Mayo the best shot at redemption.
Coming out of high school some said Mayo was the next LeBron James. He didn’t have the type of freshmen season people were hoping for. As the third pick in the 2008 NBA draft Mayo didn’t disappoint. He averaged 18 points in his rookie season and the future looked bright but things slowly decadent and in 2010 Mayo failed to make the USA team, while for other players from his same draft class made it. (Rose, Westbrook, Gordon and Love) Mayo went on to have his worst statistical season as he was demoted to sixth man.
Playing well for the Bulls will give him a great opportunity to win, produce, and possibly get a big contract in two or three years. He could go to the Lakers for probably less than the Bulls could play and be nothing more than a spark of the bench behind Kobe for the next three years. He could go to the Suns and get a little more money and maybe score more but will fade into obscurity as the Suns compete for lottery position and the pressure of being the savior could break him down. He could go to the Mavericks and play with a super star on the down side of his career with not much else there or he could go to Chicago play next to a young superstar, put up good numbers and gain respect as a key piece to a championship run.
This may all seem like a bias opinion coming from a huge Bulls fan who would love to see this happen but you have to agree that it kind of make sense both for the Bulls and Mayo. The ultimate win/win situation.