OJ Mayo Becomes Unrestricted Free Agent After Grizzlies Don’t Extend Qualifying Offer

by June 30, 2012

The Grizzlies offered restricted free agents-to-be Darrell Arthur and Marreese Speights qualifying offers Friday, meaning at the least those players have an offer on the table in Memphis, and the Grizzlies have the right to match any offers that come in for those two guys from other franchises. But OJ Mayo did not receive the same treatment—the Grizz elected not to give the guard a QO, meaning Mayo will become an unrestricted free agent, free to sign wherever he’d like. The Commercial Appeal is on the report: “Forwards Darrell Arthur and Marreese Speights will be restricted free agents this summer after receiving qualifying offers from the Grizzlies. … Memphis did not exercise that option for guards O.J. Mayo and Lester Hudson. They will become unrestricted free agents and can leave without the Grizzlies being able to match contract offers. The Griz won’t renounce their rights to Mayo and Hudson, meaning they could still execute a sign-and-trade deal with each player. However, that is unlikely. Finances and the direction of the team played a role in those decisions. The Griz are roughly $7 million beneath the luxury-tax threshold. Mayo’s qualifying offer is $7.4 million and would have affected the Grizzlies’ financial flexibility. A player can opt to accept the qualifying offer for one season and become an unrestricted free agent the following summer.”