Tag:O.J. Mayo
Posted on: February 21, 2011 4:07 pm
Edited on: February 22, 2011 12:03 am
 

NBA Trade Deadline: Ten Most Wanted

With the NBA trade deadline approaching, we take a look at the league's ten most wanted players for acquisition before Thursday afternoon.
Posted by Matt Moore

The NBA trade deadline is just three days away (Thursday, February 24th at 3 p.m. EST). The Melo trade has held up a lot of movement but there's a lot of talk bubbling beneath it. With it expected to be resolved in the next 24 to 48 hours (like we've said about ten times, but bear with us), it's going to be a fast and furious final trade season under the current CBA agreement.  Many are predicting a toned down deadline due to the CBA, but there are enough buyers (Houston, Boston, Chicago, New Jersey) and enough sellers (Portland, Indiana, Charlotte) to make for some interesting developments as we head down the stretch. But who are the players that everyone's clamoring for? And why are they worth that much?

Saddle up, partner. Here's the true grit behind our NBA Trade Deadline 10 Most Wanted. 

1. Carmelo Anthony: Melo, naturally, is the most wanted. It's not just the vast history of all this nonsense; it's how it's come down to the wire. Two teams, both of which will be located in New York in 2012, with rich, eccentric owners, throwing out asset after asset to try and acquire the All-Star. Anthony's worth it. Even with his defensive issues and relative inefficiency compared to his fellow elite players, Anthony can score anytime, anywhere, anyway. He's a clutch performer who can take over a ballgame and having a 1-2 punch between him and either Amar'e Stoudemire or Brook Lopez would significantly boost the Knicks' or Nets' hopes for the future. His agents have kept the pressure on since July, and Denver has been slowly losing their resolve to keep him. The odds are heavily favored that Anthony will be moved sometime this week and it will kick off a series of deals with the other front offices around the league. And then the New York/New Jersey circus will really kick off. 

CBSSports.com's Ken Berger reports Monday that that the Nets may actually be trying to get two of the assets the Nuggets would get in a deal with the Knicks for two first rounders. If that works out, the Knicks and Nets will combine to give Denver two starters and three picks. It's not the loaded deal the Nets were offering for Anthony, but it's still an insane wagon-full of assets. If they wind up with Raymond Felton, Wilson Chandler, and three first-round picks in exchange for just Melo and Billups, they've still lost because they lost an All-Star. But they also will have successfully set the team up to immediately turn around and compete right off the bat. They'll still be able to move J.R. Smith, Kenyon Martin and have Ty Lawson and Aaron Afflalo to build around along with Nene. This is the dream scenario for the Nugget if they have to trade with New York. 

2. Andre Iguodala: Iggy has been on the market for literally years. He's the consummate supporting player, able to pass, rebound, and score. He's never played alongside a top-flight point guard (sorry Philly fans, Jrue Holiday's not there yet), and has had to play the part of the primary offensive option, which he's ill-suited for. The Sixers have recently made quite a bit of noise about him not going anywhere, which frankly, baffles us. They have Evan Turner who has shown significant signs of progress as the season has progressed, and his value on the market trumps his value to the team as it tries to build a new core. But he has $44 million left on his contract, which is a big price tag to swallow for a guy who should probably be no more than third option on offense. That's not a knock on Iguodala, as we've come to understand the things he does defensively and in support for the system are nearly invaluable, and that's before we factor in his locker room leadership. If a team decides it wants to make a big move and has young assets to spend, Iguodala is a prime target for a late push.

The real answer to whether Iguodala will be moved is whether Rod Thorn and coach Doug Collins think that he's able to co-exist with Evan Turner, and if they think Iguodala can continue to be the face of the franchise with so much young talent around him. Jrue Holiday, Turner, an improved season from Thaddeus Young, and even with Elton Brand performing better than expected. At the same time, the Sixers are right in the playoff hunt, in an underwhelming middle of the Eastern Conference, and a great shot at making a run this season. However, the Sixers would be foolish to commit to Iguodala, turning down a good offer for him just to make the playoffs and get run out of the building in the first round. Part of putting your team in a position to win championships isn't just figuring out what will work, but what won't. Iguodala will continue to elicit calls right up until the deadline, big contract or no.

3. Andre Miller:  Old man game in the house!  Miller is an aging, veteran point guard who has proven he can still drop 40 every once in a while. You know exactly what you're getting with Miller. He is a consistent, reliable scorer who lacks upside and athleticism, but always manages to find a way to get it done. He's a relative steal at $3.6 million (prorated) for this season and $7.8 million non-guaranteed for next season. That means two different types of teams can vie for him: those seeking a veteran point guard upgrade to push them over the top, and those looking to dump salary next year while giving their team a reliable fill in for the remainder of the year. The Blazers have been so-so on Miller since he arrived as a free agent in 2009, clashing with Nate McMillan. But those problems were resolved quickly and he's grown to be a strong force in the locker room, the steady hand on a ship filled to the brim with the injured. Yet, he's 34 and the Blazers look to go younger. Miller has repeatedly been listed as a target in a potential Devin Harris trade, among others.  The Blazers may look to keep him order to push for the playoff income, especially given his ability to connect with LaMarcus Aldridge, but if Rich Cho elects for a full-scale revamp for the long-term, Miller will be one of the first assets put on the block, and one of the first to attract multiple offers. 

Miller's attitude may be a huge factor. He doesn't want to leave the Blazers, but is also tired of being discussed under trade talk. Moving to a rebuilding project, however, would be extremely difficult for him at this point in his career and could create an ugly situation with any team that trades for him who isn't on the up and up. On the flip side, he's a perfect option for a contending team looking to acquire a capable back-up point guard to get them over the top. While there's been little noise about this, Orlando would be one team you'd think might be giving Portland a call to inquire about Miller, should the Nets not immediately move Harris for Miller in the next few days, either through Denver or independently.

4. Marcus Camby: Speaking of the Blazers, they've got another aged, talented, productive player starting for them, and he too could be on the move. Camby has a little less than $17 million (prorated) left on his contract. He's a versatile, talented defensive center who can impact a game at both ends, is reliable and capable. He's a seasoned veteran who does his job, has an expiring contract after 2012, and can push a contender over the top. The only problem? He doesn't want to leave. Sources have said he would "contemplate retirement" if he was traded to a rebuilding situation, and his agent has talked strongly about how much he wants to stay in Portland, where he's moved his family. We've seen this before, as older players really love the atmosphere and lifestyle of raising their families in Portland, on a team with a loving fanbase that always tries to contend. Still, Camby can't control what happens, and if presented with an opportunity to win a ring, he would likely welcome the opportunity wholeheartedly. 

The same problem exists for Rich Cho with Camby as it does with Miller. They're both huge reasons why the Blazers are still in the playoff hunt and moving them would almost certainly result in a drop to the lottery. The Blazers are likely aiming to get a deal that frees them up long-term while still taking on players of a solid caliber. They know it will be difficult to improve with a trade for Camby, but they may be able to move his conract while still adding talent to keep them in the same place. Houston has been mentioned by CBSSports.com's Ken Berger as a possible destination for Camby.

5. O.J. Mayo:  Talk about a bad year. In Summer League, the Grizzlies pressed O.J. Mayo to play point guard, resulting in some terrible, turnover-filled performances after which he was yanked following a handful of performances. He was cut from Team USA despite their need for perimeter shooting. In preseason, Lionel Hollins questioned him publicly. He started the year in a shooting slump, so significant that Hollins decided to move him to the bench, in order to improve their bench scoring, the first time Mayo has come off the bench in organized ball in his life, mostly likely. His name started to appear in trade rumors. He watched as Mike Conley got a $40 million extension, with Lionel Hollins backing him for two years despite his struggles, while Mayo was yanked to the bench at the first sign of a slump. He got into a fight with Tony Allen on a team flight over a gambling dispute and got his lights knocked out. And then he got busted for a performance-enhancing drug, earning him a ten-game suspension. 

So why then is Mayo then such a popular trade prospect? Because he's very good. In his first two years in the league he was a high-level perimeter threat, able to score both in spot-up situations and off the dribble. He has a ways to go on defense, particularly against larger two guards where he's almost always undersized, but he shows great quickness and anticipation. He's still on his rookie contract and will be an RFA under the newly modified CBA next summer, meaning he's not a risk to depart a team that acquires him. And he's one of the few players who is truly capable of dropping 30 on a given night when he's hot. He's everything you want in a trade prospect. Unwanted by his team, available for affordable extension, talented, still with upside, and with low trade value due to off-the-court issues and team decisions which don't signify long-term problems. The Grizzlies have consistently said publicly that they plan to re-sign Mayo and not trade him. But there have been suggestions across the league that teams have inquired about him and received positive feedback that he can be had for the right price, though that's expected to possibly be too high. Mayo is teetering on the very edge of a move. If a GM gets itchy to acquire a player of that ilk, he's likely to go. 

6. Aaron Brooks: Seems like only yesterday he was carving up the Lakers in the 2009 playoffs, prompting L.A. fans abroad to ask "Who IS this guy?!" Now he's an upcoming free agent without an extension, disgruntled and unhappy as the Rockets have done what they usually do. Get the most out of a player's ability without ever over-committing to a contract they would regret later. They did the same thing with Carl Landry, eventually signing him on the cheap, then trading him to Sacramento for Kevin Martin. Now they face a similar situation with Brooks, only he represents an expiring contract, increasing his trade value. 

Brooks' value on the open market isn't sky high. He's an undersized point guard who's not particularly efficient. He doesn't have insane athleticism, nor does he possession tremendous vision .He's just a good, solid, young point guard who can be had for a reasonable price. And even with the depth of the point guard position, those are still valuable. Brooks has incredible speed and is a tremendous finisher at the basket. He's had some trouble with Adelman but this season has been the first where he's struggled with team issues. What's more, the Rockets won't horde him, trying to get the most value out of him. Instead, he can be had in a combination package with some of the rest of the Rockets' young talent. But Brooks can be used as the centerpiece in the deal. A team looking for a backup point guard to provide scoring will likely look to Brooks first when they go to market. 

7. Andrei Kirilenko: It's baffling that in the midst of what seems more and more like a disastrous season for the Utah Jazz, Andrei Kirilenko's name hasn't started foaming from sources' mouths like the sources have Russian Freak Wing Rabies. Kirilenko is 29 with several good years still left in him, averages 13, 6, and 3, with 1 steal and 1 block in 32 minutes per game. But biggest of all? He has a $17.8 million expiring contract. Close to $18 million coming off the books. There's been a lot of talk that expiring contracts won't hold as much value this year with the CBA coming up, which doesn't make a lot of sense. For starters, the new CBA likely won't affect luxury tax payments for this season. Next, even if the cap is decreased significantly, and even if it is made into a hard cap, space under that cap will still be valuable. Especially for teams looking to park contracts like Kirilenko's to get rid of their players and change things up. Kirilenko isn't the star the Jazz hoped he would be when they signed him to his last contract. But he's still a tall, strong, veteran player who can contribute to a contending team, or help a rebuilding franchise transition. Kirilenko will likely start popping up in rumors as the deadline draws nearer. 

The problem is that even by paying for a rental with Kirilenko, you don't know what you're going to get. His time with Utah has been described with significant high points and low points. He's been a big reason for the Jazz' continued success, but has also never taken the next step that management thought he would when the signed him to the extension. Teams trading for him have little way to tell how he would react in another locker room, and that's a big gamble for the remainder of his $17.8 million contract. 


8. Devin Harris: Harris was thought to be the building block of the Nets' rebuilding project when they traded Jason Kidd for him. But he's only been above average, never great, especially after that first season. When the Nets were in the lead for the John Wall sweepstakes last year, which of course they lost, there was rampant talk that the Nets would trade Harris once assured of the No.1 pick. We never got to find out the answer to that as the Nets wound up with Derrick Favors, instead. Harris isn't as young as some folks think, turning 28 three days after the deadline. But he's in his prime, and still able to run an offense, has little injury history, good explosiveness, nice scoring ability and good vision. Which is why he's been a part of the Nets' talks for Melo since the beginning, and why should a deal fall through for Anthony, he's likely on his way out anyway. 

Harris has suffered with poor teammates but the thoughts from several front office officials is that he could produce were he on a contending team. It's difficult to go from a playoff team like Dallas to a rebuilding project, especially when his second season in New Jersey was historically bad. Throw in the weight of trade rumors hovering overhead and there's enough to cloud the issue of Harris' performance. But the Nets will have to capitalize while that value is still in effect or they'll wind up with nothing for him. Portland has expressed interest several times, including the aforementioned deal for Andre Miller, and Dallas has shown similar interest. 

9. Stephen Jackson / Gerald Wallace: One of them will probably go. Not both, most likely, but one. The Bobcats need to cut salary. They're looking at an uphill climb to the playoffs, and even then the odds of any progress there are nonexistent. They need to get rid of some of the older players on large, sizeable contracts, and these two represent their biggest sale items for such a move. Jackson has been involved in more talks. He's a veteran scorer who can drop 30 regularly, has played on a championship team (Spurs 2003), has led the most unlikely upset in NBA playoff history with the Warriors, and is respected across the league as a fierce competitor and locker-room leader. 

Sure, he's a little nuts, but who isn't? Jackson's off the court issues have vanished with age, and now his biggest liability is his contract. Golden State surrendered a massive extension to him that leaves over $20 million still left on his contract over the next two and a half years, all guaranteed. Jackson will be 35 when his contract expires. That's a pretty old player with a less-than-elite ceiling to be paying over $10 million to. But considering the possibility of CBA rollbacks on current contracts, and the chance for Jackson to contribute to a winner, he's likely going to be high on the list. The Mavericks have been most prominently discussed as a viable buyer, with Caron Butler's expiring as bait.

Wallace on the other hand was an All-Star last season, is only 28, and is a high-price addition. He's got $21 million left on his deal over three-years, and a player option for the third year. But Wallace could contribute immediately to a contender. He's a wing that can rebound, provide assists and scoring, and is an elite defender. He's reliable and has no discernibly blatant weaknesses in his game, despite a low ceiling for performance. Wallace isn't going to drop 40 on you, but he is going to stuff the stat sheet every night. Jackson has received more attention, but it's Wallace who may wind up getting stronger offers he can't refuse as the deadline nears.

10. Ramon Sessions: Sessions was drafted in the second round, spent time in the D-League, then showed up with the Bucks and  immediately showed promise. But he was then buried by Scott Skiles, and wound up signing an offer sheet with Minnesota, who of course, mishandled him, then traded him to Cleveland. Sessions has played for most of the season as the starting point guard for the team who lost the most consecutive games in history (with Mo Williams missing significant time due to injury). So why are so many teams interested in him?

Because he's talented, consistent, and efficient. Sessions has a strong ability to attack the basket, good handle, and is cheap. He's got just $10 million left on his deal over three years with a player option in the third year. He has a 19 PER and has proven to be coachable, talented, and has considerable growth potential. He's simply been passed from one bad team to the next. On a good team he could wind up as a serious addition off the bench. Which is why the Knicks and Hawks have both made inquiries about him. Sessions is the kind of player who deserves a fresh start. Maybe he'll get one to get off this disaster of a Cavs team. Either way, expect a lot of talk about him before Thursday afternoon.

(All salary info courtesy of ShamSports .)

Posted on: January 29, 2011 5:43 pm
 

Mayo blames energy drink for positive test

Posted by Royce Young

Everyone has an excuse when it comes to testing positive for something. And most of the time, it's "But I didn't know!"

And that's exactly what O.J. Mayo is claiming with his positive test for dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) that got him a 10-game suspension. Mayo though, is taking it a step further. He says he thinks it was an "energy drink" that got him in hot water.

Mayo said he didn't know the drink "had any bad substances in it" and that it wasn't as if he "ordered some supplement off the Internet." Well then O.J., glad to have that cleared up.

Why though, is Mayo even trying to explain it to us? Most American sports fans are so conditioned to athletes' excuses that they just roll off our backs. It very well may have been an energy drink that got Mayo in trouble, but here's the thing: We don't care. This is basketball. It's not like we're keeping Mayo out of the Hall of Fame over it. He took an illegal supplement, got caught and now he has to sit out. End of story right there.

I'm sure Mayo is embarrassed and probably is desperate to clear up any thoughts that he's a cheater or something. But again, it's better to just say, "I'll be more careful in the future" and move on. We'll forget, I promise you. Heck, I had already forgotten about it by this morning until I saw the story about Mayo saying it was an energy drink. And now I'm sitting here writing about it.

I just watched Rashard Lewis play in Oklahoma City last night. Not once did I think, "Hey, he took DHEA! CHEATER CHEATER CHEATER!" It's just not something we really care about or really need an explanation of. Obviously he's going to be asked about it and instead of prolonging the story just say you don't know. Playing dumb almost always works. Except when I get pulled over. Then it NEVER works.

What energy drinks have DHEA in it? Most of the common ones like Red Bull, 5-Hour Energy, Amp, Rock Star, Monster and Full Throttle don't contain DHEA. So I don't really know what Mayo had. I don't know that calling him "O.J. Loco" from now on sounds like a lot of fun though.

Mayo's suspension started Friday night at Philadelphia and he will be eligible to return Feb. 15, also against the 76ers in Memphis.

Category: NBA
Posted on: January 28, 2011 12:38 pm
Edited on: February 4, 2011 2:32 pm
 

Friday 5 with KB: Who's moving at the deadline?




Posted by Matt Moore

In today's Friday 5 with KB: who's getting moved at the deadline, where's White Chocolate going, and how's Kevin Durant's season going?

1. Guess what, Ken? February's here! Which means it's trade deadline season! Which means you won't get to sleep for a month! Get excited! Okay, give me one guy who if you absolutely had to put money on getting moved before the deadline, you'd put the cash down on. 

Ken Berger (CBSSports.com): With cash on the line, I should take the easy way out and say Anthony Randolph, who's either going to be traded to the Nuggets in a Carmelo Anthony deal or to Minnesota for a first-round pick the Knicks can use to replenish their stockpile after the cap-clearing trade with Houston last season. But that's like stealing candy from a blogger, so I'll be a little more risk-taking and say Joel Przybilla. The Blazers are likely to try to shake things up, and Przybilla's size and expiring contract will be in demand among contenders. Once Marcus Camby comes back from his knee scope, Portland will have the green light to explore how much those contenders will be willing to give up.

2.  Jason Williams released by the Magic this week. Any chance of him winding up in Miami? And if not, where then?

KB: The Heat haven't had any internal discussions of significance about Williams; despite their limitations, Miami seems content with the point-guard platoon of Mario Chalmers and Carlos Arroyo. The latest, as you know, is that the Grizzlies have serious interest -- especially now that O.J. Mayo has been suspended 10 games for using a banned supplement.

3.  Your big feature on Antoine Walker this week showcased the problems with players who squander their money in rather horribly pathetic ways.  Is this an issue of personal responsibility only, or one that either the union or the league will feel compelled to act further upon? There have been classes, resources, advisers, all made available to the players and yet we see things like this. Is it foolish to hope for anything more provided to the players to avoid situations like Walker's?

KB: As you point out, the league and union do try to educate players about the perils of mismanaging their money, trusting it to friends or so-called investment gurus, or simply squandering it on an outlandish lifestyle. As in any walk of life, some players listen and some don't. That is always going to be the case no matter how much education is available. That's why I like this idea, and since the CBA is up, it's the perfect time to implement it. Let's set aside a small percentage of the profit when a team is sold and  put it in the pension fund for retired players. It would be a forced-savings mechanism and a safety net for players who get into financial trouble -- whether it's their own fault or not.

4. O.J. Mayo tests positive for DHEA, which is a borderline substance, but banned nonetheless, with a previous instance of suspension against Rashard Lewis. A bill failed to have DHEA classified as an anabolic steroid, but the considerations of the substance are all over the place. Any impact of this suspension beyond O.J. Mayo's continuing "worst month ever?"

KB: Just another cautionary tale for players to be aware of what they're putting in their bodies. Look around any NBA locker room and you see five-hour energy drinks in multiple lockers and guys chowing down on horribly unhealthy pre- and post-game meals. Then you have Steve Nash, who won't let a single granule of processed sugar pass through his lips. To each his own -- but beware of the consequences.

5. Kevin Durant drops 47 this week on the Timberwolves, days after an 0-5 performance down the stretch in a loss to the Hornets, which was days after a killer fading 3-pointer against the Knicks. What are your thoughts on KD's season, one with heightened expectations but less press than we were expecting from the superstar?

KB: Well, his shooting and scoring numbers are down slightly from last season, but I think that's more about the  emergence of Russell Westbrook as a legitimate scoring option than it is about KD taking a step back. His game is sensational and only growing and getting better. I don't think you'd find too many GMs who'd say that, given the choice, they'd want to start a team today with anyone else. The best way to judge Durant's season so far, and the way he'd do it? Through 45 games, the Thunder (29-16) are five games ahead of where they were last season, when they won 50 games and put a scare into the Lakers in the first round.


Have a burning NBA question you need answered? Email us at cbssportsnba@gmail.com, or drop Ken a question for the Friday 5 on Twitter at@cbssportsnba . 
Posted on: January 27, 2011 5:04 pm
Edited on: January 27, 2011 5:45 pm
 

O.J. Mayo suspended 10 games for PEDs violation

Report states Memphis guard O.J. Mayo to be suspended for 10 games. 
Posted by Matt Moore

Update 5:07 p.m. EST: From a league press release: 
The NBA announced today that O.J. Mayo of the Memphis Grizzlies has been suspended without pay for 10 games for violating the terms of the NBA/NBPA Anti-Drug Program. His violation of the program involved a positive test for dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA).

DHEA is famous as the substance Rashard Lewis was supsended for in 2009. It's not considered to have substantial effects on improvement, and does exist in several substances, but is clearly banned by the NBA, and as such, Mayo has no such excuse for not checking whatever it was he took. It should be noted DHEA is also a naturally occurring chemical produced by the adrenal gland, the brain, and the gonads.  Still, after last year's suspension of Lewis, each player should have been aware to be on the look out for its existence in any supplement they were taking. The Grizzlies passed along the following statement from Mayo: 
“I’m extremely disappointed that I’m going to miss the next 10 games, particularly as our team is making a push for the playoffs. I had no idea that the over-the-counter supplement that I took was a substance banned by the NBA. It was an honest mistake, but I take full responsibility for my actions. I apologize to my fans, teammates and the Grizzlies organization for regrettably not doing the necessary research about what supplements I can put in my body.”

The Grizzlies state that his next game will be against Philadelphia just before the All-Star break. There's got to be a sigh of relief from the Memphis front office since that's also conveniently before the trade deadline. O.J. Mayo isn't having as bad a season as Gilbert Arenas had last year, but he's still having a terrible year, on account of his own poor decisions. 

This is now the second violation over DHEA within a year and a half for the league.  This isn't exactly rampant, but it's a repeated issue and after the baseball disaster, the public is still touchy on the matter.  Either the league is going to have to adjust its stance on the chemical or provide the players with a higher awareness of its prevalence in over-the-counter supplements.   

Original Report: The Commercial Appeal is reporting that O.J. Mayo will be suspended for 10-games for an as-yet unspecified offense. Mayo famously clashed with Tony Allen on a team flight over a game of Bourre, leading to him getting decked by Allen.  Mayo has struggled this season, with Coach Lionel Hollins speaking publicly about his inability to play point guard despite time spent at the position in Summer League, then being benched to make up for the horrendous scoring gap on the Grizzlies' second unit.  Mayo has seemed at times unhappy with his direction on the team, particularly following Rudy Gay's max deal and the subsequent extension of Mike Conley for $40 million.

We'll update with more details as they become available. 
Category: NBA
Posted on: January 19, 2011 11:33 am
 

Mavs are exploring options at small forward

Posted by Royce Young

The Mavericks are just 2-9 since Caron Butler went down with a season-ending injury. They've fallen from the bell of the West, to a team with question marks all over the place.

So it's obvious that the Mavs would be interested in making a deal before the deadline to get back on track. And while they're looking, a report from ESPN Dallas says nothing is "imminent."

However, the Mavericks are still shopping, even if they aren't ready to buy. ESPN Dallas reports that the Mavs have interest in dealing with Charlotte, but not for Gerald Wallace. With Wallace's big contract still holding two more seasons, the Mavs are more interested in the versatile playmaking abiltiy of Stephen Jackson. The Bobcats are probably a five-game losing streak away from blowing things up, but with them playing better and after a big win over Chicago, Charlotte might be looking to hang on for a little while.

Jackson isn't the perfect fit though, as he has two years and almost $20 million left too. Plus, he's 33 years old. But he'd be easier to pry away from the Bobcats than Wallace and Dallas isn't looking to give up a whole lot right now.

Another player the Mavs reportedly have their eyes on is O.J. Mayo. However, Mayo is said to be off limits according to GM Chris Wallace (though that's probably not true). But what that means is that the Grizzlies probably want a lot more for Mayo than anyone would be willing to give up.

Finally, the Mavs would be willing to take on Al Harrington's four-year, $20.3 million contract if that meant they were getting Carmelo Anthony for the next few months, the report says. And if not Anthony, the Mavs would settle for Nene. But this scenario looks pretty unlikely.

Dallas is probably going to have its hand forced at some point to make a move. Caron Butler says he'll be back for the playoffs, but that's no guarantee. And with the way team is struggling, something might need to be done soon in order to keep pace atop the West. The Mavs know their window won't be open for long and Mark Cuban has never been shy about making a move for the now. So I would expect Dallas to be players in something by the trade deadline.
Posted on: January 15, 2011 1:21 pm
Edited on: January 15, 2011 1:30 pm
 

Grizzlies aren't interesting in dealing Mayo

Posted by Royce Young

For a brief moment, O.J. Mayo was roped into the Melodrama. He was part of a three-team deal involving the Knicks that would sending Carmelo Anthony to New York and Mayo to Denver.

CBS Sports' Gary Parish tweeted recently , "I was told [Thursday] by somebody in the know that the Grizzlies will move him because they feel they must."

Except Denver wasn't all that interested. And on top of that, the Grizzlies aren't willing to deal Mayo right now. General manager Chris Wallace said the team has no intention of trading Mayo and also threw in a token line about not speaking with Denver or New York about a three-way trade.

Of course that's just what Wallace says. That doesn't necessarily make it true. I seem to remember Ted Leonsis adamently denying trading Gilbert Arenas and naturally, we know what happened there. You see, front office types tend to lie about these types of things. And we think that LeBron James is a bad guy for not telling his former team where he was going. But that's a whole other story.

The reason the Grizzlies might feel they "must" is because of the fight between Mayo and teammate Tony Allen over cards. The Grizzlies are the type of team operating on ice a bit with Zach Randolph on the roster (who has been nothing short of wonderful) and likely don't want to upset any chemistry on the young team.

But Mayo is clearly part of their future. Memphis used a high pick on him and is committed to him being a big part of their core.

Also, Newsday reports that the Grizzlies intend to match any offer for Marc Gasol in free agency. Earlier there was talk of Gasol signing in New York to become a perfect big man complement to Amar'e Stoudemire, but it looks like the Grizzlies aren't going to try and keep their core intact.

So the Grizzlies aren't looking at blowing anything up and building around Rudy Gay and Mike Conley yet. By the sounds of it, they want to keep this young team together and let them grow up.
Posted on: January 13, 2011 7:54 pm
Edited on: January 14, 2011 12:58 am
 

Report: Knicks talking to Memphis for Melo deal

Report states Knicks attempting to bring in Grizzlies to Melo talks with hopes of moving O.J. Mayo to Denver.

Posted by Matt Moore

An ESPN report states the Knicks have brought in the Memphis Grizzlies in an attempt to make a move on Carmelo Anthony while talks between the New Jersey Nets and the Nuggets have been strained. The primary piece in play sends the Nuggets O.J. Mayo, who has long been rumored to be on the trade block despite public insistence from the Grizzlies that they have no intention of trading the third-year star. 

New York was on the fence about getting into the talks as recently as ... oh, this morning , but of course these things move fast and if the Knicks see an opportunity to swoop in using a team like the Grizzlies as a facilitator -- much like New Jersey was attempting to with Detroit -- they're going to go for it.  Mayo would bring the Nuggets a young player to build around, who showed signs early on of being a 20-25 points-per-game scorer before regressing alongside the other young guys in Memphis.  Mayo showed potential in his rookie season and carried that over into last season. But with Mike Conley having an increased role in the offense alongside All-Star Zach Randolph and emerging star Rudy Gay, Mayo suffered an early-season slump that landed him on the bench, and since then, things haven't been the same for him.  

Should the Grizzlies get into this trade situation (and there has been no indication so far they're interested yet), they have to bring in actual talent as well as a pick. That needs to be the goal, not just being a cash dump for the Nuggets in order to avoid having to face public scrutiny over whether to re-sign Mayo or not.  Anything less than coming out the best in this deal results in further talk in the media and the league about Memphis being nothing but a clearinghouse for bad contracts. Michael Heisley's reputation can't afford another Pau-Gasol-like deal. 

The Knicks moving forward seems very much like seeking out an opportunity in a vacuum. The question is whether the Knicks can somehow finagle a better set-up than what they have offered from the Nets. 

And the trade rumors that won't die continue to not die. We should get T-shirts printed. 




Posted on: January 6, 2011 10:19 pm
 

Memphis Grizzlies fine Tony Allen for plane fight

The Memphis Grizzlies have fined guard Tony Allen for fighting on the team's plane with teammate O.J. Mayo. Posted by Ben Golliver. tony-allen

The Memphis Grizzlies have issued a terse press release, announcing that the team has fined guard Tony Allen for his role in a fight with teammate O.J. Mayo that occurred on the team's plane. Here's the statement, in full.
The Memphis Grizzlies fined guard Tony Allen an undisclosed amount for his involvement in an altercation on Jan. 3 during the team’s return flight home to Memphis, General Manager and Vice President of Basketball Operations Chris Wallace announced tonight.
The fine is the latest step taken by the team in response to the incident, which reportedly involved a dispute between Allen and Mayo over an unpaid boo-ray card game gambling debt and ended with Allen punching Mayo hard enough to leave his face "swollen." The incident occurred when the team was flying back to Memphis after beating the Lakers in Los Angeles on Sunday night.

On Wednesday, we noted that the Grizzlies have also moved to ban gambling on their team flights in the wake of the incident.

For More:
  • Ken Berger's take on how the NBA's gambling culture should be modified, click here
  • Matt Moore's thoughts on how NBA players can pass the time other than playing boo-ray, click here
  • Royce Young's quick-hitting reaction after news of the fight broke, click here
 
 
 
 
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