Storyline: OJ Mayo Free Agency

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Does Mayo’s suspension preclude him from playing in the G League? The simple answer is no. While the NBA does indeed offer contracts when it comes to all G League players (with the exception of the recently added two-way deals) and therefore they have the final say as to whether they want to offer a deal to Mayo. The criteria for a G League contract, however, is undefined, and is treated on a case-by-case basis which includes a background check.

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Mayo’s next move isn’t clear. He’s still with Landmark Sports Agency, but Rob Pelinka, his old agent, is now the Lakers’ GM. He’s interested in playing in China, Spain or Israel this fall, but he hasn’t yet fielded any offers. If nothing concrete materializes, Mayo has an invite to continue his current training program in Minnesota, where Johnson and Gaines will be working with Jimmy Butler. “When you mess up, teams wonder whether they want to put their hands on you,” Mayo said. “I respect that. They can only go by a rap sheet or a résumé. If I get somewhere, I think I can change the perception.”

“I want to go back to what I left [in Milwaukee],” Mayo said. “I was real close with Jason Kidd. That was the best relationship I had with a coach besides [Barnes]. I had great relationships with Giannis [Antetokounmpo] and Khris Middleton. I was comfortable there. I felt like I let them down, cheated them for two years. They paid me $8 million to be, in my eyes, a subpar player. They invested millions of dollars for me to be on top of my s—, and when you’re not on top of your s—, it shows. If they just give me the chance, I can make it up. I owe them.”

After July 1, 2018, Mayo will be eligible to apply for reinstatement to the NBA. Per league guidelines, both the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association must approve his return, and the two sides can consider a host of factors to weigh that decision, including the circumstances surrounding Mayo’s dismissal, his personal conduct during the ban, his character and morality, whether he has completed a treatment program, and whether he’s a “suitable role model for youth.” Mayo must also be able to “demonstrate by proof of random urine testing” that he has not failed any marijuana or drug tests for a year prior to his reinstatement application.

Once the 2016-17 NBA season started, a “hurt” and “lost” Mayo couldn’t bear to watch, consumed by remorse over the years that had preceded his ban. He had “burned the candle at both ends [until I] ain’t got no candle left.” His “entourage” had grown too big, and he had prioritized “showing love to friends, hanging out, and finding girls” over the gym. He acknowledged smoking marijuana and abusing a prescription pain medication that triggered his two-year ban because it is on the NBA’s “drugs of abuse” list. (He emphatically denied testing positive for hard drugs like cocaine.)

“[Thinking I’m crazy] is an easy perspective for someone to have given the way I was living,” Mayo said. “I’m not ignorant. Somebody could easily fix their mind to say something like that because of my résumé. I don’t have a media rep or PR company making sure that everything is good, and I don’t go to social media with my problems. “But that ain’t me. I’m far from crazy. I’ve made some crazy a– decisions, but I’m not crazy. I’m good with myself. I’m comfortable with my body. I dug myself a hole, but it’s not a coffin. I can still get out.”
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February 21, 2018 | 5:07 am EST Update
“He’s not [coming back to Miami]. But the fact when ESPN polled 48 players about what they thought might happen with LeBron that they even mentioned the Heat shows that, at worst, the Heat remain relevant in players’ consciousness,” Winderman wrote. “Basically, the NBA players polled still consider the Heat a desirable landing spot. And that is a good thing. But I cannot fathom, as you pointed out, the Heat having enough on their roster to attract such a level of free agent. There was a time when I thought Hassan Whiteside could have been such a lure, but with his role minimized, I don’t see that as the case anymore.”
Storyline: LeBron James Free Agency
Three-time NBA champ and NBA agent B.J. Armstrong joined John Dickinson, Matt Steinmetz and Daryle “The Guru” Johnson on 95.7 The Game on Tuesday to discuss an assortment of hoops topics, including the technical foul trouble plaguing one of his most famous clients, one Draymond Green. Asked if he ever talks to the Warriors star about his 14 techs, Armstrong laughed, then launched into a detailed explanation about how he handles the situation. “That’s a fine line,” Armstrong began. “Well, the one thing you have to remember with Draymond — and there’s been a lot of players who play with this type of passion for the game — there’s a fine line between having passion and then toning it down and trying to utilize your reason and logic.” “I think what makes Draymond such a wonderful player is he plays the game from his heart. And when you know him, and you guys cover him and you see him, there’s no doubt that he is playing all out on every possession.”
Simmons called Fultz “an amazing young player” and admitted he hates guarding him in practice because of his impressive ability to attack the basket. Ben Simmons: It’s tough. The position he’s in. He’s so young coming into the NBA and then obviously having this injury. But he’s in a good position where he’s staying focused and working hard. I see him everyday in there trying to get back to where he was and he’s going to do that. It could be physical. It could be mental. I’m not too sure about the details, but I know he’s working hard every day. You see him trying to push back, but on the floor, even in practice, you can see he’s an amazing young player. I hate guarding him. He’s so good getting to the rim.
3 hours ago via SLAM
Storyline: Markelle Fultz Injury