O.J. Mayo visits Phoenix Suns on Friday

As the Phoenix Suns continue to wait for the New Orleans Hornets to match their max offer sheet to Eric Gordon (tomorrow’s the day!), they moved on by holding a meeting today with Gordon’s presumed replacement, free-agent shooting guard O.J. Mayo.

Sources incredibly close to Mayo (the player himself), confirmed the meeting:

Saturday will likely be a huge day for the Suns as they will find out (most likely) that New Orleans matched on Gordon so they can move on with their other business, which includes signing Goran Dragic and Michael Beasley as well as securing another young shooting guard.

The 24-year-old Mayo appears to be their top target in that regard as the Suns seek to reunite the Nos. 2 and 3 picks in the 2008 draft.

Like Beasley, Mayo has starred at times, averaging 18.2 and 17.5 points per game as a full-time starter his first two seasons before being relegated to the bench and playing about 12 less minutes per game the last two seasons than he did his first two.

Mayo has never shot the ball particularly well, hitting 43.3 percent of his attempts for his career, and he’s barely been above 40 percent each of the last two seasons.

We will break Mayo down in further depth if he does in fact sign, but for now I’ll leave it at he’s been a solid player but certainly underwhelming for a third overall pick.

If (when?) the Hornets match on Gordon, the Suns will have about $11 million to spend on free agents, including Robin Lopez.

It appears Phoenix’s preference would be to give Mayo a healthy cut of that money, and it has always been the front office’s stated desire to bring back Lopez.

However, I am concerned about spending too much future cap space without landing any “stars” this offseason. Dragic, Beasley and Mayo are also very nice young players with tons of potential for improvement, yet are any of them even the third best player on a championship team in this Big Three era?

The opportunity cost of signing Mayo could be not having the space to make a max offer to a stud next summer. With the possibility of amnestying Josh Childress and declining the team option on Hakim Warrick, if the Suns keep some of this cap space dry with one-year deals they could be a major free-agent player once again next summer.

Perhaps they could figure out a way to front load a contract offer to Mayo to preserve some of this room as well. I worry about being locked into a Dragic-Mayo-Beasley-Frye-Gortat-Marshall-Dudley-Morris core for the next few years by giving Mayo the money he deserves.

In a vacuum, there’s no question the former Trojan could help the Suns, and he’s young enough that he still could become the special player many people have always felt he would be since grade school.

Yet it’s questionable how much future cap space the Suns would be wise to commit to a player who has shot 40 percent the last two seasons and disappeared in the 2012 playoffs.

Mayo: ‘It went well’

Hat tip to @nando_88 on Twitter for pointing out that Mayo tweeted the following tonight but soon deleted it.

O.J. Mayo Tweet

Hornets acquire Brad Miller, second-rounders with cap space

The Hornets acquired a pair of second-rounders (and Brad Miller’s contract) in return for cap space today from a Minnesota team desperately trying to cut money to make all of its free agent moves.

Deals like this are why Dell Demps will wait until the final minute to match Gordon’s offer sheet. Why not add future assets with your extra cap space that you don’t need now and will lose anyway if you don’t spend it?

Nash-Amare-Marion third-best trio ever

Neil Paine ranked the best statistical “Big Threes” ever, and wouldn’t you know that No. 3 on that list behind only the 1991-92 version of Jordan, Pippen and Grant and the 2010-11 Heat trio of LeBron, Wade and Bosh was the Suns’ very own high-scoring triumvirate of Steve Nash, Amare Stoudemire and Shawn Marion.

Writes Paine for ESPN Insider:

It’s fitting that the second-most prolific regular-season and playoff offense ever would have representatives on the list of all-time great Big 3s. In 2004-05, Nash won MVP honors, Stoudemire made a strong bid for the award as well, and many observers felt Marion was actually Phoenix’s best all-around player. Together, they propelled the Suns to their first Western Conference finals since 1993, touching off one of the greatest stretches of sustained offensive output by a single team in the history of the NBA.

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