Even with the Clippers moving on to eventually be shredded by San Antonio in the second round of the playoffs, I still don’t believe they had a better team than the Grizzlies. The best player yes, but not the best team. Alas, in a series where two teams are evenly-matched, homecourt advantage can get thrown out the window, and so too can the game’s first 43 minutes. Even though it was L.A.’s bench that won Game 7, Chris Paul won that series for the Clippers because of the way he finished Games 1, 3 and 4.
With the recess doors opening earlier than expected for Memphis, they’re now left with the very real possibility they won’t have the same team next year.
The Grizzlies are already committed to $54 million next season between Zach Randolph, Marc Gasol, Rudy Gay and Mike Conley, and with O.J. Mayo set to see his salary rise past the $5.6 million he made this year, it’ll be almost impossible to bring everyone back.
And yet The Memphis Commercial Appeal reports that Mayo wants to play point guard going forward, and hopes to see that come to fruition in Memphis.
“It just keeps getting better and better,” Mayo told the paper. “Why not stick around and finish it out and see where we can get?”
Sticking around would be great… if money wasn’t involved.
Then there’s Mayo’s proclamation that he wants to work at being a lead guard. Again. This isn’t the first time we’ve heard this from the former USC star. He played minutes there this season because Memphis had nowhere else to turn after Mike Conley. He’s worked on it in the past, most notably in summer leagues and preseasons. He’s barely 6-4, and has a wingspan of just 6-6. As a point guard, he’d be one of the biggest players in the league at his position, and instantly morph into a mismatch. At the two, guys like Joe Johnson and Stephen Jackson dwarf him. It’s easy to see his intrigue.
But he still has a long ways to go, and against the Clippers there were times when he seemed to turn the ball over at will. In fact, for the most part, even his shooting was terrible. Mayo averaged 8.9 points on 27 percent from the field over the seven games, and past Game 2, he shot 6-for-34.
Despite his weak playoff run, if the Grizzlies lose their best outside threat (and the guy manning the backup point guard spot) this summer because of money, they’ll be taking a significant step back.
Do you think Mayo will be in Memphis next year?
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