Jun 29, 2012, 1:55 PM EDT
O.J. Mayo is on the open market.
Memphis made qualifying offers to Marreese Speights and Darrell Arthur — they can now match any offers other teams make to those two — but chose not to make a similar offer to Mayo, tweets the Commercial Appeal.
That makes the four-year veteran an unrestricted free agent. Any team can bid on his service and the Grizzlies have no right to match.
Already Mayo is drawing interest from the Boston Celtics, reports A. Sherrod Blakey at CSNNE.com. The Celtics tried to get him at the trade deadline, they will make a run at him again.
There are a couple reasons Mayo was let walk by the Griz.
One is fit on the court — Mayo has not been bad in Memphis but he has struggled being the third or fourth option behind Rudy Gay, Zach Randolph and sometimes Marc Gasol or Mike Conley. Mayo averaged 12.6 points per game last year but shot just 40.8 percent, with a PER pretty much at the league average of 14.8. Memphis tried bringing Mayo off the bench, but he never could find a groove. In a different setting, different system he could be more comfortable and produce more.
The other is money — if Speights and Arthur accept their qualifying offers the Grizzlies just crawl over the luxury tax line. If Mayo accepted his Grizzlies would be way over. And this is not a franchise that wants to pay the tax.