BOSTON (CBS) – The Memphis Grizzlies did not make a qualifying offer to guard OJ Mayo, meaning he will become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.
With the possibility that Ray Allen — also a free agent — skips town, Mayo will likely be a prime target of the Boston Celtics.
Boston attempted to trade for Mayo at the trade deadline last season, and reports had them inquiring about the guard prior to Thursday’s draft. Now that they wouldn’t have to surrender anything in return, Mayo will be more even enticing to the Celtics brass.
Mayo averaged 15.2 points, 3.3 rebounds and 2.7 assists over his four years in Memphis after being selected third overall in 2008. Shortly after being drafted, he was sent to the Grizzlies by the Timberwolves in exchange for Kevin Love.
After starting all but one game in his first two seasons, the 6-4 guard came off the bench for Memphis the past two years. In 2012, Mayo averaged 12.6 points on 41-percent shooting, averaging 27 minutes per game.
Gallery: Potential Free Agent Targets
Still just 24, Mayo would give the Celtics a young shooting option off the bench. He hasn’t lived up to the hype that surrounded him when he came out of USC after his freshman season, but he wasn’t really given the chance to thrive in Memphis.
However, it’s unknown what Mayo will go for on the open market. He could be anywhere from a mid-level guy to a fairly pricey signing, so Boston will have to be careful not to over-spend.