Friday, July 20, 2012
O.J. Mayo wants to become a point guard
By Tim MacMahon
DALLAS -- What if Delonte West doesn’t re-sign with the Mavericks?
The Mavs remain interested in bringing West back at the right price -- likely the “room” exception of a little more than $2.5 million -- but a team source says the guard has “lots of options.” West has made his desire to stay in Dallas clear, but he also wants a deal that provides as much financial security as possible.
If West isn’t in the mix, the Mavs will have a major question mark at point guard behind Darren Collison. They’ll have plenty of options, but none of them have proven they can be productive NBA point guards.
O.J. Mayo, who is expected to start at shooting guard, hopes to get a lot of the point guard minutes when Collison rests.
“It's going to take work,” Mayo said after signing his two-year contract that includes a player option for the second season. “Can I play the position John Stockton perfect? No. But I can get better at it. That's part of the reason why I wanted to get this contract out the way and get back in the gym and get to work.”
Mayo hasn’t played much point in the NBA, but he said he discussed the opportunity to develop at the position during recruiting dinners with coach Rick Carlisle in Las Vegas.
“He likes tall point guards and big guards, and he views me as that big guard for this team to help in the backcourt,” Mayo said. “And as a player who wants to become a point guard one day, that's what you like to hear. I believe he'll definitely set up the way for me to get better at that position and I'll go 100 percent to get it done.”
Mayo playing significant minutes at point guard might not be the ideal situation, but neither would be handing the keys to Rodrigue Beaubois, Dominique Jones or Jared Cunningham when Collison sits. If West moves on, Mayo might be the Mavs’ best option for a backup point guard.