Mayo Gone Bad

Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Memphis guard O.J. Mayo continued his slide toward fantasy oblivion when it was announced Thursday he would begin serving a 10-game suspension for violating the league and union's anti-drug policy.

Adding this to his demotion from the starting lineup and his drop in almost every statistical category, and a fantasy owner could not be blamed for dropping the former USC star.

It's been a bad third season for Mayo, taken No. 3 overall by Minnesota in the 2008 draft before immediately being traded for Kevin Love.

His playing time has taken a hit with his role as a sixth man, dropping from 38 minutes-per-game over the first two seasons to just 28.8 minutes in 2010-11. His floor time will likely continue to diminish, as he's averaging just 25 minutes a game since he started coming off the bench.

As a bench player Mayo is averaging just 10.5 ppg and his shooting percentage is barely above 40.

Now comes a 10-game suspension which will begin on Friday, January 28th and last until February 15th.

Mayo was already on the trading block and the subject of many rumors. It's doubtful that the Grizzlies will be able to trade him, which leaves fantasy owners with two options -- sitting him on the bench in the hopes he'll start again someday, or releasing him and looking for a player who could give you immediate help.

The current Memphis starting shooting guard is Sam Young, a second-round draft choice out of Pittsburgh in 2009, who has yet to prove that he can fill the role. He's averaging just 4.5 ppg in about 13 minutes of playing time this season, and in his 10 games as a starter, he has posted 5.6 ppg in 22 minutes.

Therefore, sitting Mayo is still the recommended option at this point. Watch how Young progresses over the next two weeks, and if he plays like he belongs in the starting spot, then cut Mayo. Otherwise, there is still hope that Mayo can become a starter and a viable fantasy-worthy guard again.

O.J. Mayo NBA Statistics
YearGmsPPGRPGAPGSPGBPGFG%3PT%FT%
2008-098218.53.83.21.10.243.838.487.9
2009-108217.53.83.01.20.245.838.380.9
2010-114512.22.61.91.00.440.836.075.5


Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Steve Schwarz at sschwarz@sportsnetwork.com.

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