Even though O.J. Mayo had a decent 2012-2013 season statistically for the Dallas Mavericks, if he decides to opt out of the final year of his contract the move could be one that benefits the Mavericks more than hurts them.
Mayo began the season on a high note as the focal point in the Mavericks offense with Dirk Nowitzki sidelined with a knee injury. Over the Mavericks first 27 games, Mayo was averaging a then career-high 19.8 points on .472 from the field and shooting .493 from three-point range.
But once Nowitzki returned, Mayo’s game immediately saw a decline in not just production, but also consistency. Mayo’s average in the remaining 55 games of the season was just 13.1 points per game and his shooting percentages dipped to .435 from the field and .349 from three. Mayo had 14 games of 20 or more points before Nowitzki returned, but just eight the rest of the season. Mayo’s inconsistent play even drew criticism from head coach Rick Carlisle at the end of the year.
It’s beginning to appear as if Mayo just may not be the type of player that thrives as the second or third option on a good team. Mayo shines when he’s the top dog on offense, but once he’s asked to defer to someone else his game declines at an alarming rate.
The Mavericks would be saving about $4 million in cap space if Mayo opts out of his deal, which is money that can use on a more affordable replacement that would offer the same type of production for cheaper. Both Mayo and the Mavericks would be better off parting ways, and hitting the free agency market may be just what the both Mayo and the Mavericks need going forward.