The Milwaukee Bucks’ search for a shooting guard appears to be over.
The Bucks are close to finalizing a deal with unrestricted free agent O.J. Mayo.
Mayo, 25, played for the Dallas Mavericks last season, averaging 15.3 points a game. Prior to that, he played three seasons with the Memphis Grizzlies.
The Bucks desperately need a shooting guard. Last year’s starter at the position, Monta Ellis, is an unrestricted free agent and is expected to sign with another team.
J.J. Redick, Ellis’ backup, was traded Monday in a sign-and-trade deal with the Los Angeles Clippers.
Mayo’s best season came when he was a rookie with the Grizzlies. That’s when he averaged a career-high 18.5 points a game.
While Mayo is a solid scorer, he isn’t a particularly good shooter. He is a career 43 percent shooter.
The terms of Mayo’s agreement with the Bucks isn’t known. Under the collective bargaining agreement, free agents like Mayo can’t sign a contract until July 10.
Dunleavy is bullish on Chicago
Mike Dunleavy enjoyed his last two seasons with the Bucks.
He’s looking forward to having even more fun over the next two years with the Chicago Bulls.
Dunleavy, who played an instrumental role in helping the Bucks advance to the Eastern Conference playoffs last season as one of the NBA’s best sixth men, has verbally agreed a two-year, $6 million contract with the Bulls. He is expected to sign a contract next week.
Dunleavy, one of the classiest players in the league, had nothing but praise for his former team.
“I am so appreciative for the opportunity the Bucks gave me,” said Dunleavy in a telephone interview from his home in New York Tuesday. “I wish them nothing but the best. I hope they do well except the four times they play the Bulls.”
Dunleavy said he and Bucks officials had discussions even prior to free agency about the possibility of re-signing with the team. But once free agency began, Dunleavy drew interest from nearly half of the teams in the league.
Dunleavy said the Bulls contacted him Monday, the first day of free agency. He said Bulls general manager Gar Forman and Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau each made personal calls to him.
Dunleavy said their sales pitches were more than convincing.
“I was very flattered by all the interest,” said Dunleavy, who averaged 10.5 points and shot a scorching 43 percent from 3-point range last season. “There was a lot of interest; it (the number of teams) was well into the double digits. I had some good opportunities, but Chicago blew me out of the water.
“I don’t think it’s fair to say it was one thing that determined my choice; it was just the entire package they presented me. There was high interest from them right off the bat. I knew they wanted me and that meant a lot.
“I couldn’t envision a better situation.”
According to a league source, Dunleavy was the Bulls' No. 1 free-agent priority.
* The Bucks haven’t made any official comment, but leagues sources say they are on the brink of hiring David Morway as their assistant general manager.
Morway once was the general manager of the Indiana Pacers. He is expected to replace Jeff Weltman, who took a similar job in Toronto.
* Weltman will receive a significant bump in pay in his new job with the Raptors.
Some NBA officials claim Weltman will be paid more than $1 million a year for the next five years. That is almost double the amount most assistant GMs are paid.
* The Bucks don’t have any intention of bringing back veteran center Samuel Dalembert, an unrestricted free agent. Dalembert is being courted by the Portland Trail Blazers.
* The word is Bucks head coach Larry Drew plans to talk to some coaches at the upcoming NBA Summer League in Las Vegas about being his lead assistant coach.
Drew is also still in the process of hiring two assistant coaches.
* Highly respected trainer Marc Boff, a friend of Bucks ex-coach Scott Skiles, has been released by the team.
* While the Bucks are honing in on Mayo, they came up short in trying to sign Minnesota forward Chase Budinger, came up short in signing Oklahoma City off guard Tony Allen and traded J.J. Redick (whom they acquired from Orlando for talented young forward Tobias Harris) to the L.A. Clippers for two second-round picks when they could have had Racine native Caron Butler and possibly young point guard Eric Bledsoe.