The Charlotte Bobcats are a “likely suitor” for shooting guard O.J. Mayo, according to USA Today’s Sam Amick. Mayo will become an unrestricted free agent Monday, after declining his $4.2 million player option. Mayo a signed a two-year, $8.2 million contract last offseason with the Dallas Mavericks, and averaged 15.3 points in 82 starts with the team.
More free agent rumblings – OJ Mayo’s likely suitors: Jazz, Bucks, Minnesota, Clippers, Blazers, Bobcats, Bulls.
— Sam Amick (@sam_amick) June 30, 2013
Interest in Mayo would likely be an alternative to Gerald Henderson leaving the Bobcats. The team extended a $4.5 million qualifying offer to Henderson Friday, giving them the right to match any offer sheet he signs in free agency. Henderson averaged a career high 15.5 points in 68 games last season.
A once highly-regarded high school star, Mayo hasn’t lived up to the hype professionally. Mayo was selected third overall in the 2008 and traded to Memphis in the deal that brought Kevin Love to Minnesota. Some teams continue to be optimistic that Mayo just needs the right situation to blossom into an all-star talent. While he isn’t as sound defensively, Mayo’s durability (he’s played four complete seasons) and three-point shooting stack up well against Henderson.
Amick lists the Jazz, Bucks, Timberwolves and Clippers among Mayo’s other suitors. The Mavericks have the cap space to retain their starting guard, but most signs point to signing with a new team this summer. Mayo turns 26 in November, which is just one month older than Henderson. If pursued, Mayo would be a reasonable replacement alongside Kemba Walker.