DALLAS -- For guard O.J. Mayo, he was not in a "show me the money'' mood during free agency this summer.
Mayo's business manager, LaPoe Smith, said his client was more interested in getting involved in a winning situtation than trying to break the bank.
"It wasn't about the money,'' Smith said. "It was about being in the right situation.''
The right situation for Mayo turned out to be the Dallas Mavericks, who signed him to a two-year contract Thursday for approximately $8.5 million. The second year of the contract -- for about $4.5 million -- is a player's option.
Smith said Mayo turned down one contract this summer that was worth $11 million. He said he also turned down an offer from the Phoenix Suns that was worth between $9 million-$10 million so he could play for the Mavs.
"You've got to know what the young man wants in his life,'' Smith said. "He didn't want to go to a team that loses 60 games.
"That's not any fun. O.J. deserves better than that.''
Mayo, who the Memphis Grizzlies didn't pick up his $7.3 million qualifying offer this summer, acknowledged that the Mavs' championship pedigree played a major role in him signing with Dallas.
"They did it two years ago,'' Mayo said of the Mavs winning the 2011 NBA title. "So it’s definitely cool to say that they are a championship organization.''
With Dirk Nowitzki, Shawn Marion and Vince Carter back, and coach Rick Carlisle as the architect, Mayo has high hopes of the Mavs winning a second championship in a three-year span.
"Hopefully with some of the veteran guys they already have and me bringing some
new juice to the team, hopefully we can get back to that level,'' Mayo said. "I think we can,
because I know the pedigree of Coach Carlisle -- he’s a terrific coach.
"He’s one of the main reasons I came here. I just have a lot of faith in his ability to
get the job done. And then just watching Dirk’s work ethic and Vince and Shawn. . .it’ll make me a better player, I believe.''
Indeed, the chance for Mayo to get better and the chance to win a ring took precedence over the chance for him to hit the financial jackpot.
"It was a decision that we went through several times,'' Smith said. "We looked at a lot of people and we finally decided that this is what we’re going to do.''
-- Dwain Price
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