We all know about OJ’s off-the-court issues, it’s now we take a good long look at him as an actual basketball player.
The Run Down:
- 2008-08 Season Averages: 20.7ppg, 4.5rpg, 3.3apg
- Height: 6’5″, Weight: 195 lbs, Position: PG/SG, Class: Freshman
- 20 years old
- Best Case Comparisons: Chauncey Billups, Ben Gordon
- Worst Case Comparison: Joe Forte
- Scoring Instincts
- Body Control
- Shot Selection
- Finishing ability
My Take: OJ Mayo can fall anywhere from picks #3-#7. This means that Mayo will likely be considered when the Sonics pick at #4. If Jerryd Bayless is picked at #3 by the Timberwolves and Mayo is still on the board the Sonics should draft OJ Mayo. The only available point guard prospects after Derrick Rose and Bayless are DJ Augustin and Mayo. The Sonics need a point guard, if they don’t come out of this draft without one, this years draft can be marked as a failure.
Although OJ isn’t a true point guard like Jerryd Bayless, he is still an extremly rare talent at the guard position. He has an unbelievable killer scoring instinct. In Pac-10 games, he dropped point totals of 34, 29, 32, and 37. What is even more impressive to me is his ability to create shots for others when teams start focusing in on him. His passing ability confirms that he possesses the skills of a point-guard. But the thing that makes him unique is that he is a shoot-first, pass-second player.
With this killer scoring instinct, OJ would help Kevin Durant out a LOT. Imagine defenses having to deal with two elite offensive players like Mayo and Durant. OJ would not only open up the game for Durant but also for players like Nick Collision and Jeff Green. Lastly, OJ Mayo is willing to do whatever it takes to win. His willingness to adapt his game in order for his team to win is rare. Although many players are willing to adapt their games to certain systems, few players can actually adjust and thrive like OJ Mayo could.
An interesting thing to keep in mind is that the Miami Heat with the #2 pick is taking a good look at Mayo. Dwayne Wade has already had several workouts with Mayo and they have developed a quick friendship. It has been reported that the Heat believe Mayo is the most NBA ready prospect. The Heat are absolutely in love with Mayo’s athleticism. What does this mean? If Mayo was taken at #2 , then the Timberwolves would likely take Bayless, and then the Sonics would have the option of drafting Michael Beasley. Possibilities.
Conclusion: If the Timberwolves pass on Jerryd Bayless, then the Sonics should draft OJ Mayo or move down and draft DJ Augustin. OJ Mayo along with Kevin Durant would generate a lot of fan interest in Seattle, if the Sonics played their next season here. A Durant-Mayo duo would be the next big thing in the NBA. Overall, it would be a great decision to draft Mayo but I couldn’t blame the Sonics if they moved down for a purer point guard in DJ Augustin.
Sources: nbadraft.net, draftexpress.com