O.J. Mayo is heading into his sixth NBA season and his third straight for a different team. Drafted no. 3 overall by the Minnesota Timberwolves in the 2008 NBA Draft, Mayo was part of a draft night trade that sent him to the Memphis Grizzlies and Kevin Love to Minnesota. He was the starting shooting guard for the Grizzlies his first two seasons, averaging 18.5 points his rookie year and 17.5 his second year.
However, his next two seasons in Memphis weren’t as successful. Due to his poor defensive play, he was moved to a sixth man role and his minutes decreased from 38 per game his first two years to 26 over the next two. His scoring average also declined to 12 points per game over his last two seasons.
Memphis had no interest in bringing him back when his contract expired, so he signed a two-year deal with the Dallas Mavericks prior to the 2012 season. Mayo started at shooting guard all 82 games last year and averaged 15.3 points, 4.4 assists and 3.5 rebounds per game.
Mayo started the season as one of the best scorers in the league. Without Dirk Nowitzki, he was the no. 1 option and averaged over 20 points per game in November. When Dirk came back, his numbers declined every month. He averaged 17 points per game in January, 15 in February, 11.8 in March and all the way down to 8.6 in April.
After the season, he opted out of his contract and signed a three-year, $24 million deal with the Milwaukee Bucks. He is replacing Monta Ellis at shooting guard, who swapped places with Mayo and signed with the Mavericks. The Bucks also dealt away point guard Brandon Jennings, which allows Mayo to go back to being the no. 1 option on the team. He will be joined by Brandon Knight in the revamped Bucks backcourt.
The Bucks will not make the playoffs this year, but I look for Mayo to get his average back to around 18 points per game.