Would the Pacers Sign OJ Mayo?

At the trade deadline in 2011, Indiana almost had a huge deal in their hands: Memphis Grizzlies shooting guard OJ Mayo in exchange for Josh McRoberts. Imagine where the Pacers could have been this year if they had Mayo? Maybe they could have beaten the Miami Heat?

However, the deal reportedly fell apart when the third team needed for cap purposes (New Orleans) backed out. Another deal was seemingly close to completion this past December, but reportedly fizzled after David Morway tried forcing Brandon Rush into the trade.

Regardless, the Pacers have clearly demonstrated their interest in Mayo specifically. And as they enter this year’s off-season, they are reportedly looking for solid role players. Mayo, who is a restricted free agent this summr, could be one. He is a solid shooter, can create his own shot off the dribble, and has shown an ability to play pretty good defense at time.

As such, he is likely to draw multiple suitors. Will the Pacers try to land him again?

In my opinion, I believe they should. There are really not a lot of guys on Indiana’s roster now who can create their own shot. Mayo is one of those guys. He can hit three. He’s learned to hit the big shots since he first stepped foot on an NBA court. The want is obvious. The big question is how much money they would want to spend on him.

Mayo isn’t a superstar by any means. However, many teams are looking to get their hands on him and lure him away from Memphis. The Chicago Bulls, for example, reportedly have been interested and there are likely other teams that may be willing to overpay him. Meanwhile, you can bet on the fact the Grizzlies won’t overpay and just let him walk.

How much, then, is Mayo worth? I would probably say between $7 to $10 million per year. Would Indiana even take the chance? They’ll likely have to pay Roy Hibbert around a $12 million annual salary. They may have enough cap space to also add Mayo, but is it worth it? Especially with George Hill’s free agency also pending this summer.

And that is where the questions of trades come up. Darren Collison has been involved of speculation of being traded on draft day. Adding to the fact of Kevin Pritchard being the new GM, and his past of making trades, there’s a good chance he is at least considering moving up.

However, would it be ideal to trade Danny Granger? We all know Granger was a bit overpaid when the Pacers re-signed after his career-season in the 2008-09 season. He’s been involved into trade scenarios since then, but Larry Bird has kept him out of it. However, if Indiana would want to get a guy like Mayo and pay him well, it seems like Granger could be the odd man out.

With that, Mayo would be slotted into the two-guard while Paul George moves back to his natural position of small forward. Personally, I think there is a problem with that. I still think George isn’t quite ready yet, and it showed during the Miami series. Indiana still needs Granger, no doubt, so it looks like we can keep those trades out of the way.

So really, if the Pacers do try signing Mayo, they may not have enough cap room to get anyone else after that. He would be huge help, but the question is how much would Indiana pay to get him.

Tags: Free Agency OJ Mayo

  • dwain

    Mayo might be a great fit for the team, and would surely benift from the spirit the pacers have right now….but it doesnt answer our passing pg needs

  • Tyler

    Lots of typos and serious use of the word “however”…still, this had some good points. I would never pay $10 million for O.J. Mayo though.

  • Josh Dhani

    @Tyler Sorry about that. Thanks

  • Ben

    I am okay with Mayo at $9 million per 3-4 years. Re-sign Hibbert and Hill. Okay with trading Collison or Tyler. Need a big, PG, and Wing. Draft takes care of one, Mayo would take care of another. Then make trade to fill out the rest.

  • Mike

    Mayo for anything over 6-7/year is over priced. Pacers just spent the past 5 years cleaning up the books. No reason to start over paying people now. Especially guys like OJ Mayo. What is everyone’s infatuation with this guy? OJ for McRoberts, sure. OJ for big money over longterm? No thanks.

  • Chris D.

    OJ Mayo is not a good player. He hurt the Griz in the playoffs. He is the most overated player on their team by far (with Mike Conley catching up quick). If we pick him up it will be a sign that the front office is just grasping. DC and Hill are a better guard tandem than either of them would be with Mayo.

    Also, there is no evidence that Mayo is a “shot creator” if such a rare skill–that is, making unassisted shots or last-second shots–actually exists.


  • K0NRT15

    Goran Dragic…go get him

  • Josh Dhani

    @K0NRT15 He’s most likely staying with the Rockets. Already their starter, which is why Kyle Lowry demanded a trade and because he doesn’t really like coach Kevin McHale.

  • NoLookPass

    Lets hope not Juice would be a terrible fit here. Would be hard to find the shots he needs to be effective, and not playing with Memphis’ NBA best TO forcing defense would hurt his shooting percentage more than it already is since he wouldn’t be getting the fast break layups to keep his % over 40 like he does there.

    Mayo is the Grizzlies least liked player among their fans and that’s in a perfect situation for him, expanding his role more would be a bad idea.

  • Jason

    Most guesses I’ve read have EJ only getting $10-11 million per year. If that’s the case, there is no way OJ Mayo should get anywhere near $10 million per. If EJ is 10-11, that has to make Mayo top out at 7. And depending on the makeup of the team that gives him $7 million, that could still be argued as too much.

  • Realist

    No. Our chance was to get him while he was still on his rookie deal and he had soured in Memphis.

    Cya Morway

  • Bryan

    Why are we talking about going after a RFA when that was the exact reason given for NOT pursuing Eric Gordon?

  • Tom

    I think the ship has sailed on Mayo coming to Indy. Would have been good when it originally fell through for McBob, but it’s time to move on. I don’t think he’s the answer to us getting over the Miami hump. Will he improve us defensively? Doubtful. He’s also yet to prove he can score consistently and had every opportunity in Memphis to do so. We need to swing for the fences with our next FA signing, and Mayo would just be an single to shallow center. Would rather keep Granger at this stage.

  • Timothy

    @Bryan I agree. Why are we talking about RFA’s? Writer, know what you’re talking about….. think UFA’s.

  • FreeAgentID

    Do not trade for OJ. There is no room for him. We won without him.

  • Derek U

    They’re talking RFA’s and OJ mayo cause the Grizz just maxed out signing their players and likely wont match anything past 5mil. You could offer Eric Gordon a max offer, and the Hornets will still match the offer. Thats why he’s talking Mayo and not Gordon.

    I’d take Mayo for the right price over say Barbosa….

    Personally, I’d like to lure Jamal Crawford again. I don’t see him signing his player option with the trailblazers, and portland may be looking to unload him.

  • Bryan

    It’s just funny because Larry Bird said we wouldn’t pursue RFA’s because it wasn’t “Simon’s style”.

  • Ronal Eugene is Right!!

    Sign him then trade him, Granger, and Paul George for anyone who ever played for IU.

  • Lawrence

    @Ronel why would we trade for the IU guys, boys like Vaden, Coverdale, Jeffries, Haston, or DJ could be had for pennies on the dollar…maybe we could hire Mike Davis or Kelvin Sampson too

  • Ronal Eugene is Right!!

    We should go for Dan Dakich. Did you know he coached at IU once?

  • Jack

    First, I think we need to keep Granger on this team. He’s the leader (well, him and West), and I feel like we wouldn’t get enough in return if we traded him. To me he fits best on the Pacers.

    I believe we need to keep our “core,” which to me is Hill, Granger, West, and Hibbert. I’d also like to keep Paul George and Lance Stephenson because I see a lot of promise in them. And I’d like to keep DC, because he’s a very nice spark off the bench. I would really like to find a way to move Hill to the SG position and have DC continue to come off the bench as a point guard. That means we need to acquire a solid, passing-oriented starting PG. I originally wasn’t too keen on the Nash idea, simply because I’ve always pegged him as overrated, but now I’m starting to think he could be a good fit. And that’s only because I think the next 1-3 years are our best chance to win a title. That means we need an effective starting point guard NOW.

    In an ideal world, I’d also like Paul George to come off the bench for Granger at SF, which means we also need to acquire a back-up SG. I’d like this to be a sharp-shooter.. Someone who’s aggressive on defense, smart, steady, and hits 3′s. This really only leaves the issue of back-up big men. Hansbrough is sketchy, and Amundson isn’t any good at all. So if we can figure out a cheap way to add a decent big guy to come off the bench, that’d be great, too. But I still think our primary objectives should be: Keep the core (as well as Paul George, DC, and Lance), sign a starting PG, and sign a sharp-shooting back-up SG.

  • Bryan

    I seriously hope we are planing on offering a deal to Deron Williams. He may not come but you have to make him turn you down,you never know.

  • K0NRT15

    @Josh Dhani

    That may be true but I guess it’s possible he would consider being a starter on a better team. Never thought David West would come here either. He is unrestricted right?

  • papapapatrick

    we need steve nash AND deron williams. then next year we get dwight. not one not two 3 sounds about how many championships we’d win

  • DieHardPacersPhilippines

    i think $12 is not worth for Hibbert maybe a $9-10, if HIBBERT will get $12 i think Pacers should sign Dwight Howard, then trade Granger and get GORDON!

  • gregor t.

    @Josh. Even if the Pacers would go after an RFA like Mayo this year, 7mil per is still way too much for Indy unless it is a trade deadline move. A player like Courtney Lee is a much better value at the SG off the bench, and he is a much better defender.

  • Zack

    @papapapatrick – We can’t afford Nash AND D-Will. Plus, why would both go to the same team? They play the same position. D-Will is going to either Dallas or back to the Nets. I sure hope we make a hard run at him (gotta try, right?) but I don’t think he’ll come to Indy. Dwight would only sign if we got D-Will, and if we get D-Will we probably won’t have the cap space for Dwight (unless we don’t resign Hill or Hibbert and trade Granger during the season for an expiring. All in all, I don’t see Nash, D-Will or Dwight being in a Pacers uniform within the next two years.

    @ DieHardPacersPhilippines – similar to what I wrote above, I don’t see a scenario where Dwight Howard comes to the Pacers either through a trade or after next season as a free agent. I think he, like Deron Williams, wants to go to a bigger market team (i.e. Nets/Mavs for D-Will, Lakers/Nets for Dwight). I don’t see either of those guys coming to Indy, although I really hope the Pacers try to get D-Will. He is a superstar, and he would put this team into serious contention with the Heat and OKC as the best team in the NBA imo. My hope for Eric Gordon is that he plays for NOH on a one year deal and become unrestricted next offseason (he can do that if he doesn’t sign a long term contract right?) Then, if he’s playing on a one year deal, we trade DG during this upcoming season for an expiring and sign Gordon after the season is over.