For all of the nonsense Milwaukee Bucks general manager John Hammond has put fans through so far this summer with his botched J.J. Redick trade and allowing Mike Dunleavy to walk, it is comforting to know that he came through in the clutch. The Bucks made an amazing call by signing shooting guard O.J. Mayo to take over the starting job for Monta Ellis, who rejected a two-year contract extension not too long ago.
Mayo posted one of the best seasons of his career in 2012-13. He averaged 15.3 points, 4.4 assists, 3.5 rebounds and 1.1 steals per game. He also managed to shoot 44.9 percent from the field and a career-high 40.7 percent from beyond the arc in 82 starts.
The Dallas Mavericks, who Mayo suited up for last season, made it very clear they did not intend to give the veteran a pay raise. For that reason, Mayo decided to opt out of his contract, which would have paid him $4.2 million during the 2013-14 NBA season. However, he certainly has to be happy with his new deal with the Bucks in which he will receive $24 million over three years.
There is certainly plenty to like about the five-year player. For starters, he is able to drive the lane and be productive in the paint, something Ellis and Redick did not do so well. He also is more productive from long range than Ellis, and his offensive numbers put Redick’s to shame.
Assuming Milwaukee retains the rights to Brandon Jennings, the Bucks should have quite the dynamic backcourt next season. Unlike Ellis and Jennings, Mayo plays a different style of basketball than Milwaukee’s starting point guard for the past four years. As long as Jennings decides to play the point correctly, which means looking to make plays instead of taking ridiculous shots, Milwaukee should be in good hands.
It is imperative Milwaukee allow Mayo to do his thing on a consistent basis, which is taking over games by being a legitimate scoring threat.