The Celtics have been looking to add a shooting guard to replace Ray Allen (in addition to Jason Terry) and have reportedly been focusing a lot of their efforts on freeing up space to go after either O.J. Mayo or Courtney Lee. One of those options dried up as Mayo picked the Mavericks and announced it via twitter last night.
I will be signing with dallas! #Mavsnation— OJ Mayo (@JuiceMayo32) July 17, 2012
The odd thing is that after all those moves, the Mavs only had $4M left to spend on a free agent.
If Mayo was looking for somewhere north of the mid level, why would he sign for less than the MLE?
Celtics Hub wonders if there's a deal in the works with Mayo being sign-and-traded to the Mavs and sending Jason Terry to the Celtics. That would require the Celtics sending enough contract filler, picks, and probably cash to the Grizzlies to make it worth them getting involved.
Update: As Roy and others have pointed out, if the terms reported are accurate (2 years) then this can't be a sign-and-trade since those need to be 3 year deals. So it may just be that Mayo saw the money running out and decided to take a shorter prove-it deal.
Another situation to watch is the Phoenix Suns. They had also started targeting Mayo and Lee and may now focus their efforts on landing Lee. It would be unfortunate if the Celtics bent over backward to free up the MLE and then didn't have anyone worthy to spend it on.
Finally, as if that wasn't complicated enough, the Celtics along with the whole world are waiting on the Dwight Howard situation to play itself out (which is likely on hold as the Houston qualifying offers to Jeremy Lin and that Omer Asik get sorted out). That situation could be key as the Rockets might still have interest in signing Lee.
Got all that? Can you see why this is taking so long to work out? This is complex, many layers deep type stuff. It will all work out eventually, but it isn't clear just what the Celtics will be left with once the dust settles.