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OJ Mayo Would Be Final Piece to Phoenix Suns' Post-Steve Nash Era Rebuild

Free agent OJ Mayo averaged 12.6 PPG off the bench for the Memphis Grizzles last season.
Free agent OJ Mayo averaged 12.6 PPG off the bench for the Memphis Grizzles last season.Christian Petersen/Getty Images
Patrick ClarkeCorrespondent IJuly 16, 2012

Free agent shooting guard OJ Mayo would be the final piece to the Phoenix Suns' post-Steve Nash era rebuild this summer.

According to Yahoo! Sports' Marc J. Spears via Twitter, Mayo is drawing interest from several teams, including the Suns:

Free agent G OJ Mayo getting interest from Lakers, Chicago, Phoenix and Dallas and hopes to make decision in next 10 days, source tells Y!

— Marc J. Spears (@SpearsNBAYahoo) July 14, 2012

 

Phoenix is in desperate need of a scoring 2-guard to improve their back court after their bid to sign free agent Eric Gordon fell through.

Mayo has watched his minutes decrease year after year since being drafted by the Memphis Grizzlies in 2008. He started 163 of his first 164 career games before the Grizzlies turned him into a sixth man. 

Many forget that Mayo averaged 18.5 points per game during his rookie season. If Phoenix can land Mayo, he will step in as the team's starting shooting guard right away, making way for the sort of production that we saw from him four years ago. 

The Suns rebuild has gone better than many predicted before the offseason began, and adding Mayo would only give Phoenix more firepower to compete in the Western Conference in 2012-13.

Phoenix won the amnesty auction for power forward Luis Scola on Sunday, according to ESPN's Marc Stein. Scola averaged 15.5 points and 6.5 rebounds per game last season for the Houston Rockets and will certainly have an impact on the Suns' frontcourt. That unit already boasts talented center Marcin Gortat, who averaged 15.4 points and 10 rebounds per game last season for Phoenix. 

In addition to Scola, the Suns have picked up free agents Michael Beasley and Goran Dragic. 

Dragic, who played behind Steve Nash in Phoenix for two and-a-half seasons before being traded to Houston in 2011, averaged 17 points and 7.6 assists per game over last season's final two months. In Dragic, the Suns have a talented young floor general to feed Mayo the ball on the wing and on the break.

With a starting unit consisting of Dragic, Mayo, Jared Dudley, Scola and Gortat, the Suns would easily be a playoff team next season, climbing over Houston and Utah in the Western Conference standings on offseason moves alone. 

Mayo would be the one player on Phoenix's roster to have a shot at stardom, as well. He is only 24 years old and would thrive in Alvin Gentry's get-up-and-down offense. Mayo is a career 37.5 percent three-point shooter, and would give the Suns yet another outside shooting threat to help space the floor. 

Although one could argue that the Suns would be better off with Eric Gordon in the backcourt, Mayo would give them every bit as much offensive firepower. Acquiring Mayo would be the final piece to the Suns' rebuild puzzle and would make Nash's departure hurt a little less.

 

Follow Bleacher Report Featured Columnist Patrick Clarke on Twitter For More Reaction on the 2012 NBA Free Agency Action. 

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