The Dallas Mavericks made a couple of key offseason moves to bolster their backcourt by trading for point guard Darren Collison and signing free agent combo guard O.J. Mayo.
After four years in Memphis, mostly spent coming off of the bench, Mayo was looking to raise his game with several teams interested in his services. According to ESPN Dallas, Mayo sought the counsel of veteran guard Chauncey Billups to help sort out his decision.
Billups suggested Dallas due to his past experience playing for Rick Carlisle in Detroit at a similar point in his career.
"He said (Carlisle) is a great coach for me to help expand my game," Mayo said.
Billups, like Mayo now, was a No. 3 overall pick in his mid-20s who hadn't lived up high-lottery expectations when he signed with the Carlisle-coached Pistons in the summer of 2002. Detroit was Billups' fifth NBA team, and while he showed promise as a part-time starter the previous season in Minnesota, he had yet to prove he could be a premier point guard.
Carlisle gave Billups that opportunity in 2002-03, when he started for a 50-win team that advanced to the conference finals. That was the only seasons Carlisle coached Billups, but Billups gives Carlisle credit for helping him become a five-time All-Star and one-time NBA champion who is now known as Mr. Big Shot.
Mayo won't be taking many big shots in Dallas this season with Dirk Nowitzki remaining the first option in crunch time, but the Mavs will certainly benefit from Mayo becoming a threat to make plays down the stretch.
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