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Will O.J. Mayo go to Turkey or Vegas this summer?

Apr 26, 2010, 5:41 PM EDT

According to Ronald Tillery of the Memphis Commerical-Appeal, O.J. Mayo wants to go to Turkey this summer and try out for a spot on the US World Championship team. The Grizzlies, of course, want him to do the responsible thing and spend his summer in Las Vegas in order to work on his point guard skills. From the article: 

It is well-documented that second-year player O.J. Mayo is an undersized shooting guard at 6-4, so the Grizzlies coaching staff has invited the former USC standout to participate in summer league.
The goal is for Mayo to significantly improve his point guard skills. The Griz are looking to improve their versatility so Mayo’s ability to play point guard at times could lead to a bigger, more potent offensive lineup in doses.
Mayo’s shaky ball handling and poor decision-making have been major deficiencies throughout his first NBA two seasons.

Sending Mayo to Summer League and turning him into a true point seems like a nice idea. I do wonder if it would actually work out the way the Grizzlies think it will, though. It’s generally a lot harder for players to develop passing skills or change their style of play than is for them to add muscle or improve their outside shots; scoring guards expected to “develop into point guards” rarely do so. 

Summer league also isn’t the best place to learn how to run an offense. The play is up-and-down, the guards take most of the shots, and all of Mayo’s teammates will be worse than he is. Mayo might be instructed to be a pass-first player, but summer league is the perfect environment for him to indulge his shoot-first tendencies; there’s a reason Nate Robinson’s one of the great summer league players of all time. The Grizzlies might be better served letting Mayo play for his country and spending some time around the best players in the world instead of hoping that Mayo will be able to make serious changes in his game while going against a bunch of rookies and D-Leaguers. 
  1. J.D. Hastings - Apr 26, 2010 at 8:53 PM

    He can have Kobe’s spot this summer, right? I mean, Kobe isn’t playing this summer with all his injuries and the fact that he looks like Larry Hughes out there sometimes, right? Lebron and Carmelo have both announced they’re thinking of skipping the summer and they aren’t even hurt, so Kobe would defintely do the smart thing and rest, right?
    RIGHT?

  2. JerryC - Apr 27, 2010 at 9:36 AM

    I think the Grizzlies have a lot of problems, including their “undersized” approach to O.J. Why would they even consider tampering with a SUPERSTAR, if not now, perhaps in a FUTURE “oversized” city.

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