Woj: Bucks “closing in on a multiyear contract” with OJ Mayo

And who says the Milwaukee Bucks don’t have a plan? As JC Brooks & the Uptown Sound can confirm, they have a plan and they are well on track.

According to leading source of heartbreak in Milwaukee, Adrian Wojnarowski, the Bucks are close with OJ Mayo:

Free agent guard O.J. Mayo is closing in on a multiyear contract with the Milwaukee Bucks, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.

The deal could be completed as soon as today, league sources said.

It looks like the Bucks will have another cool beard around soon. (Photo by Sam Forencich/NBAE via Getty Images)
It looks like the Bucks will have another cool beard around soon. (Photo by Sam Forencich/NBAE via Getty Images)

Contract matters here. Obviously the fewer the years and the fewer the dollars, the better this thing looks. So no need to strap fireworks to yourself tonight just yet. That being understood, we have to look at this from both sides.

First, some pluses:

– They could do worse. Mayo isn’t a bad player. He’s not a franchise changing guard by any means, but he’s a capable reserve for sure. He made better than 40% of his 3-pointers last season and for his career has connected on 38.2% from deep. That’s pretty good.

– Also, Mayo’s 44.9% from the field and 55.6% TS% last season blew away Milwaukee’s starting back court. Yes, that’s because Milwaukee’s starting back court was historically awful at shooting the basketball, but at the very least, those are acceptable league average numbers from Mayo. His shooting numbers from last season are comparable to Mike Dunleavy’s last season

– Two seasons ago he ranked 59th in the league in points per possession in isolation. Last season, he ranked 16th. Watching some of his clips reminds me of Monta Ellis in terms of shot-selection, except his shots go in more often than Monta’s would. He has no issue at all shooting after dribbling many times, which, again, isn’t that big of a deal if he’s making the shots.

– Mayo is just 25-years-old. While he hasn’t really improved since his first year in the league, with the exception of some bright flashes early last season, he’s still young enough that he theoretically could become a better player than he is right now. So the player he is in year X (not sure how long yet) of this contract may be better than the player he is in year one.

Now, some minuses:

– As noted before, Mayo essentially produced at a rate very similar to Dunleavy last season. He will (probably) make at least twice what Mike Dunleavy will make this season. Not ideal to lose a Dunleavy and gain a Mayo from a value perspective. I should also note that Mayo doesn’t have the ability to move the ball or come off screens as effectively as Dunleavy. He’s Dunleavy without the things that made Dunleavy fun to watch and especially productive.

– 6-foot-4 with limited athleticism won’t fill Bucks fans with enthusiasm either. Mayo has some quickness and he can generally hang with point guards and most two guards on the defensive end, but he has a questionable defensive effort reputation and lacks the body to be a great defender.

– He also isn’t that guy the Bucks have been looking for to get to the rim on a consistent basis either. Possibly because of what he lacks from an explosion and size standpoint, Mayo has never attempted more than 3.4 free throws per game over the course of a season.

– I know Ellis drove us crazy with all the missing, but there were the moments where he would drive and dish with great success. Don’t expect as much of that from Mayo. He doesn’t have the vision or the creativity in traffic that Ellis had. Mayo has never had an assist rate that’s cracked 20%, whereas Ellis hasn’t had one under 20% since his fourth season.


Categories: The Off Season

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  1. Why don’t the bucks just give up already? This doesn’t make them contenders and this doesn’t help them rebuild. Is there goal mediocrity or are they just so use to it they don’t know any other way? Even the worst teams in the NBA next year will be better off than our Milwaukee Bucks, well maybe next year, YOUR

  2. You cannot deny that with the flaws Ellis has, he was fun as hell to watch. I’ll miss him at least for that. But I’m digging a Mayo pickup. If we are tanking, or pseudo-tanking if you will, he is ideal for it. Nothing spectacular, but good enough to still win some games and keep the fans a little happy. I would be ok with a multi-year deal as well. Face it, Bucks just cannot win in free agency. Other teams will always do better no matter what, so picking up someone like Mayo is actually impressive to a degree. If it doesn’t work out, we can always trade him. From what it looks like, the only thing we’ll be giving up is money, so no matter what his future is we should be able to get something out of him.

  3. Please, no!
    Thanks, Jeremy, for the scouting report on O.J. Mayo, which is the major basis for these thoughts:
    I’m not for purposely tanking, but we don’t have to sign ordinary players at inflated prices, either. Especially we don’t need guys with questionable shot selection, questionable passing skills, questionable defensive effort — (and possibly questionable attitude?).
    Paying this guy at least twice as much as Mike Dunleavy? Multiple years?Hold the Mayo!

  4. So if we get Mayo and Korver, who starts? I’d guess Mayo but both seem like fringe starters. Also, what are the thoughts on pg? I haven’t heard much but I’d like us to go after Greivis or Calderon.

  5. Monta Ellis, meet your replacement, other Monta Ellis
    and why did Jeremy refer to OJ as a great backup? obviously gonna start for this team assuming they don’t find someone better

    • let’s not forget that Mayo was playing at an All-star level for the Mavs at the first half of last season.. then again so was Brandon

  6. People need to stop complaining about this deal. I really hope it’s a sign and trade of Mayo for Jennings. It makes perfect sense because Dallas has always been high on Jennings,

    A sign and trade deal would then allow us to sign Jeff Teague as our starting PG. That would give us a back court of Mayo and Korver at the 2 and Teague, Wolters and I. Smith at the 1. I see this as much more productive back court than last year’s.

    This deal also take J.R. Smith out of the equation, which I never saw as a good fit for the Bucks. Maybe, just maybe, it might attract SF Josh Smith. Adding Josh Smith could only happen if the clubs signs Teague at a reasonable contract and amnesties Gooden.

  7. not too high on this deal personally, always saw oj mayo as a very similar player to monta and how the bucks have been talking it doesnt seem like theyre going to be getting rid of bj anytime soon, just means that its gonna be exactly how it was last year where jennings and mayo will just take shot after shot after shot. i really feel if theyre out there playing 35-40 minutes a night its going to hinder the younger players development in henson/sanders/antetokunmpo

  8. Mayo is a solid player roll player. He can shoot from deep & is still young.. He posted a 41 inch vertical at draft scouting combine so to say he isnt athletic doesnt do him justice.. Hes better then JJ & not as good as Monta.. If we dont overpay this will be a good signing

  9. Meh is pretty much how I feel about this guy…. To those of you comparing him to Ellis, they are quite different players. Ellis undoubtedly has more individual ability but has never fit especially well with any of the teams he’s been a part of. Mayo is a jump shooting 2guard. That’s not going to get you too far without a slasher at 1 or 3.

    It seems that the rest of the league has a pretty low opinion of Jennings as a FA as well. This post from the ATL blog is pretty funny – http://www.peachtreehoops.com/2013/7/2/4488906/brandon-jennings-in-atlanta-hawks

    • I agree that the link is funny about what Brandon might’ve been up to in Atlanta. I like the line about hiding the basketballs because Brandon will shoot them all; and the scenario of coach Drew sending Brandon to move his stuff. It’s interesting to hear what people from other places think about our guys.

  10. Oj is not a bad signing, he’s young and will fit in well with this team and korver will not be coming to the bucks, but everybody has to just relax and wait and see what the plan is..the bucks still have money and will sign another free agent before the 10th..i agree that he is not three face of the franchise but will be a good role player..you will see how things pan out by the 10th i think Hammond will get it right this year…go bucks go

  11. This was a guy who going into the off-season I said, “Yeah, but we’ll never get him…” so I actually like this move a lot, but like BrewCity said above, as long as we don’t WAY overpay for him. I don’t think Monta is the best comparison here even they both play the 2 spot. They’re different kind of players I think. I think he could hit the ground running for us and score between 18-20 points per night. Something I have also been thinking about is that I dont think this is just Hammond, I think Larry Drew has his hands ALL OVER these moves!!!!

  12. As I stated in a post from an earlier written article:

    If the Bucks are going to sign Mayo then they might as well go all in an sign Al Jefferson. Him next to Sanders would make for a very good frontcourt with defensive guys like Henson and Udoh coming in off of the bench. Would be nice to see them move Ily for a more athletic SF, but Im not getting my hopes up here.

    Mayo/Unnamed defensive-minded FA

    • for maybe the billionth time, Ilya is not a Small Forward.. this experiment has been tried and has failed

    • Hell no, that roster is perfect for 9th place in the East. And Henson sits on the bench. No no no

    • a couple notes on Jefferson also.. respect his offensive skill set, but he also limits the tempo you can play at and has never made a team better, not ever.. plus I hear he is asking for $15 mill a season, have fun with that

  13. happyfeethustle

    I was actually very pleased after hearing reports of possible deal with Mayo. He was playing at a very high level for a stretch last year when Dirk was out. Was getting lot of praise and coverage from analysts about holding the Mavs together with their star injured. Mayo is a good addition-not great, but respectable none the less. Better O.J. than Budinger, and Bucks could do MUCH worse than Mayo!

    Hope for Korver deal to get done too. Need real shooting THREAT- and Korver is a fair defender with decent size. Again, Bucks could do much worse.


  14. just curious, what would you guys think if they traded jennings and a draft pick or 2 for rondo? the celtics are trying to rebuild and rondo would bring a bigger defensive mindset to the team

    • obvious respect for Rondo, but the way this team is currently constructed does not favor his skill set.. his best years were with Pierce, Ray Ray, and KG, all of whom can hit jump shots from 18 out.. not enough consistent jump shooters on our team to have the same type of effectiveness.. we need scoring from the PG position

      If you said blow it up and design around Rondo, then I could understand, but that would take time

    • Intriguing… I, too, would like to hear arguments for and against.
      I would really like to have someone on the Bucks who could and would set up the rest of our guys for good shots, and generally help to develop our young guys and promote team chemistry. That’s why I was hoping for Shane Larkin in the draft, plus signing a character point guard for veteran presence. I’m not sure if Rondo would be another good way to go… maybe Jennings plus another player or two, rather than draft picks. I’d send Jennings plus O.J. Mayo. Rajon could be an exciting and highly positive guy to help us to grow… if he’s happy to be here.

      • hahaha stop, Rondo is not a guy to build around and if he wasn’t happy in Boston, He will hate ever second in Milwaukee.

    • IF Ray Allen and Doc didn’t wan’t to play with him, and his attitude is the main reason Boston is shopping him, why should the bucks want him.

  15. The fact that nothing was inked in regards to this deal must mean that something(s) hinge on the Dwight Howard signing. Could the Bucks be one of the teams reported to be ready and willing to take on expiring contract(s) of RJ, Biedrins or Bogut and gain an asset Barnes or Thompson? (Pleeeease)

    • The Bucks better be trying to take on Warriors contracts (likely RJ and Biedrens) in exchange for draft picks. That sounds like a golden opportunity to:
      1) reach salary floor
      2) have a poor 2013-14 record and get in the lottery for a stellar draft
      3) attain an additional first round-pick in a stellar draft year

      The opportunity to jump-start a rebuild is staring John Hammond and Larry Drew right in the face. If the Warriors get Howard and the Bucks don’t jump on this I will be royally pissed, like Im not going to watch a Bucks game for the first month of the season pissed.

      • I agree that the emphasis should be on draft picks, and more draft picks!!!
        Anyone else we take on should be character guys with short-term contracts. I’m a fan of Bogut, who seems to be very much a character guy, so I’d like to have him back if he was short-term and could fit in somehow with Larry and John. If he is able to go injury-free for a couple years, then maybe we could re-sign him to another short-term contract.
        I keep having sighs of relief when I see Al Jefferson, J.R. Smith and others go with other teams. There doesn’t seem to be anyone special out there worth a big investment of time and money. Let’s go young!

  16. Should have gone with the Wilco version….

    Anyway, he reminds me of a younger, better version of John Salmons. I mean that in a good way. If the money is <$10M/Year, I will be happy with the signing.

  17. Contract matters, for sure, but … I like this. The Bucks basically don’t have any guards under contract (and need to spend their money somehow), and he’s a much more appealing option than most. A young-ish player who’s shown flashes of being very good at the most hard-to-fill position in basketball. What else are we going to do at shooting guard? He’s a more appealing player than Ellis or Redick and should fit the rest of their team pretty well, regardless of what they do with Jennings.

  18. I actually really like this pick up. 8 Mill a year for 3 is not bad for a very young SG who has shown signs of potential. As long as we still get rid of jennings and hopefully Ersan so we can tank this upcoming season and add a high draft pick to a core of Mayo, Henson and Sanders, in 3 years this team could be very good. I still think John Hammond needs to be fired and Giving ZAZA almost 6 mill a year for 3 years was another one of the worst moves I have seen. F U Hammond, Long walk, short cliff, figure it it out.