The Chicago Bulls have had a relatively quiet offseason, but landing free agent O.J. Mayo would be just what the doctor ordered for the Bulls to successfully improve their roster heading into the 2013 season.
While most contenders have made moves to bring in more talent, the Bulls have been relatively quiet. The Heat did what they could to bring in additional help—signing both Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis with the little cap flexibility that they have.
Despite a first-round exit in the playoffs that suggests the team should make a few moves to cope with the absence of Derrick Rose, the Bulls have stood pat. Other than basically giving away Kyle Korver to save some cap space (h/t Chicago Tribune) and most likely watching Omer Asik go to the Houston Rockets, the Bulls haven’t made any blockbuster moves.
However, if the Bulls can find a way to bring in Mayo, they would instantly become one of the offseason’s biggest winners. According to Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports, the Bulls are one of four teams interested in acquiring the shooting guard.
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
The acquisition of Mayo is undoubtedly the best scenario for the Bulls. He would provide a great running mate for Rose in the backcourt and a consistent scoring threat when Rose is off the floor.
The Bulls rode a suffocating defense to the Eastern Conference’s best record last season and figure to be great on the defensive side of the floor. However, when the Bulls lost Rose to an ACL tear in the playoffs, the offense struggled mightily as the Bulls were ousted by the eighth-seeded 76ers.
The Bulls lacked a consistent scoring threat aside from Rose in the backcourt even in the regular season. Rip Hamilton, C.J. Watson and Ronnie Brewer all saw time in the starting lineup, but none were able to average more than 12 points per game.
Mayo could easily outplay all three of those options and would be sure to give the Bulls the extra kick that they have lacked on offense in the Rose era. Mayo averaged 12.6 points per game as the Memphis Grizzlies’ sixth man in the 2012 season and should see his numbers increase given that he would be a starter with the Bulls.
The Bulls should be an enticing option for Mayo, too. After posting solid numbers as a starter in his first two seasons (18.5 PPG and 17.5 PPG, respectively) he has spent the last two years coming off the bench and his numbers suffered (11.3 PPG and 12.6 PPG, respectively).
Mayo’s willingness to come off the bench was admirable, but playing for the Bulls would afford him the opportunity to once again be a starter while remaining on a contender.
With Mayo and Rose joining forces in the backcourt, the Bulls would be bona-fide contenders in 2013 and beyond.
Read more Chicago Bulls news on BleacherReport.com