Could OJ Mayo reach Kobe-like potential? More questions. Re-examining the Love Mayo trade.
The trade that went down on draft night was OJ Mayo, Marko Jaric, Antoine Walker, and Greg Buckner for Kevin Love, Mike Miller, Brian Cardinal, and Jason Collins. When this trade went down, my gut reaction: What the hell are you doing, McHale? You just traded away a 25+ point scorer who plays some defense! Idiot!
And this doesn’t surprise over the man who sacrificed everything for Joe Smith. Joe Smith? Are you serious, B? Why did this trade go down? Kevin McHale fell in love with Kevlar. He loves big men that listen to the Beach Boys while battling weight problems. He did get back Mike Miller in the process, too. He’s solid, but no game changer that affects the wins-loss column. Why trade a guy who is going to be a perennial all-star? Perhaps David Stern told him that he didn’t want a Gay Love duo on any team.
Originally my thought was OJ Mayo, and whoever his agent is, wanted Mayo to be the third pick and McHale probably thought the same way. It was just Mayo wasn’t his guy. He already loves Love and wanted more out of the 3rd pick hence the trade. Logically, it’s the way to go, but it’s not necessarily the right thing to do. From this writer’s prospective, it was the wrong thing.
The other argument for not keeping Mayo is that they already have Randy Foye, Sebastian Telfair, and Rashad McCants. Getting him would only cause a guard glut. That’s almost like saying “we can’t take Michael Jordan because we already have Clyde Drexler.” I’m not saying that those guards equal Clyde nor am I saying that Mayo = MJ. It’s just a way of putting things into perspective.
Both Minnesota and Memphis are craptacular squads so let’s disregard who they’re playing with because that doesn’t matter. Individually, Mayo brings more to the bank than Love can ever bring. Right now, Mayo is killing it.
2008-2009 stats (through 19 games) PPG 21.3 RPG 4.5 APG 2.4 SPG 1.3 BPG 0.1 FG% 0.465 FT% 0.871 3P% 0.380 MPG 38.9
If he keeps it up, he’ll be second in rookie of the year voting (the Great Poohdini in Chicago will win it). Love is not in consideration because he just isn’t. Averaging a single-single cannot get the job done.
So can Mayo reach Kobe-like potential?
Flagrant Foul will take a cue from President Barack Obama and say, “Yes he can.”
The only thing that’s holding Mayo back is his height, but that does not look like a hindrance. He’s putting up numbers in his rookie season that Kobe did entering his 3rd year. He has this “It” swagger that Kobe has if you’ve been watching him. Since he’s been great so far, this poses further bonus questions: Who is the franchise player of the Memphis Grizzlies? Rudy Gay or OJ? Can OJ Mayo (assuming that he stays healthy and keeps improving) one day surpass Kobe’s career stats? Never say never because Lebron James is already better than Kobe statistically.
I can answer one question with a straight face though: Kevin McHale is horrific as a GM.