Since the days of Shannon Brown, Jordan Farmar and Sasha Vujacic, the Lakers bench has been one of the worst in the NBA. This past season, the bench scored 25.7 points per game, which ranked them 28th out of 30 teams.
This past season, former Mavericks guard O.J. Mayo was a bright spot for an older team as he got his first real chance to start in the NBA. Mayo spent the past four seasons coming off the bench in Memphis and signed a two-year deal with the Mavs last off-season.
He was able to to opt-out of his contract with the Mavs and is looking to find another starting gig amongst the 30 NBA teams.
Where He Fits With the Lakers:
With uncertainty surrounding Kobe Bryant’s readiness for Opening Night, signing Mayo would make it easier for Bryant to recover from surgery knowing he has a suitable replacement.
In Mike D’Antoni’s system, Mayo would thrive as he shot a career high 41 percent from three-point range last season and is able to create his own shot. When Bryant does return, Mayo would slide into the sixth man role, a spot he’s been in almost his entire career.
More importantly, Mayo would bring the Lakers instant scoring. While he might be a poor man’s Jamal Crawford, Mayo would give the Lakers a dynamic off the bench that they haven’t had in a long time.
The Minnesota Timberwolves have already made it known that they are going to pursue Mayo over the summer. Teams like the Suns, Jazz and the Bucks are other teams with cap space and in the Bucks case, they could have a starting gig ready if Monta Ellis opts out of his contract.
Mayo is an Los Angeles product and would definitely be interested in a return home, but his price might eliminate the Lakers form contention.
$5-$7 million per season
Unfortunately, I don’t see Mayo donning the purple and gold next season as the Lakers financial situation will all but eliminate them from pursuing him. Unless they trade Pau Gasol, the Lakers aren’t going to sign an impact player like Mayo in the offseason.
While he struggled down the stretch this season, Mayo will sign with a mid-level team as he’s transformed from a bench player into a starting two-guard in the league.