O.J. Mayo will exercise player option, enter free agency

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The fifth-year guard said he hopes to sign a long-term contract in Dallas this offseason.

After an up-and-down first season with the Dallas Mavericks, O.J. Mayo will exercise the player option on his contract and enter unrestricted free agency, according to a report from Earl Sneed of Mavs.com.

Mayo signed a two-year, $8 million contract with the Mavericks in the offseason with a player option for next season, but few expected him to play the second year of the contract.

He thrived as the team's first option while Dirk Nowitzki was recovering from preseason knee surgery, but he struggled mightily down the stretch, culminating in a miserable performance against the Grizzlies in the last week of the season that caused Rick Carlisle to rip his effort in a postgame press conference.

He averaged 15 points, 3.5 rebounds and 4.4 assists on 45/41/82 shooting this season. His inconsistency as a decision-maker and defensive player make his return to Dallas uncertain, although he has expressed interest in the possibility.

The Mavericks, after missing the playoffs for the first time in 12 seasons, will have a lot of cap space this offseason, but also a number of holes to fill if they hope to return to the NBA's elite in Dirk's final years in the NBA.

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