According to NESN, O.J. Mayo is the 4th most valuable free agent in the NBA this summer, ahead of such players as Gerald Wallace, Tim Duncan and Michael Beasley. OK.
Now, there's a list for everything these days, and when you consider the fact that Tim Duncan is going to spend the rest of his days in San Antonio, and Gerald Wallace, who recently opted out of his contract, may very well re-sign with the Brooklyn Nets (a team loaded with cash this summer), it sort of makes sense in this summer of Deron Williams to see Mayo as the 4th most valuable free agent this summer.
We've talked about the prospects of both signing and losing Mayo this summer at great length, so I need not get into it again. But, it does go to show how thin the free agent market is this summer. Ahead of Mayo are Williams, Eric Gordon and Roy Hibbert, who is restricted and will be back with the Pacers next season. There is talent on the board, but, again, once you consider guys like Hibbert and Duncan are essentially off the board already, Mayo steps in as a highly sought after prospect this summer.
Great for him, bad for us. While he is restricted, the idea that he's a top free agent isn't going to help his price tag, from a buyer's perspective. So while teams come in and drive his price tag up, it becomes less likely that we can afford to re-sign him, thus losing him and forcing us to move on.
As for the list, I don't really have much beef with it, but what does baffle me is this:
Many teams will fight for superstars like Deron Williams, O.J. Mayo and Eric Gordon, while their current teams hope they will choose to stay for a new contract.
Emphasis, absolutely MINE. Not sure Mayo deserves to be called a superstar, but... It seems like adding tags like "star" or "superstar" can only mean that he's definitely not going to be a Grizzly next season. Well, if that's the case, good look in signing him to a superstar's deal, whatever team eventually pulls the trigger. Just know it's not going to be us.