While it had been clear for a while that Al-Farouq Aminu would not be returning to the New Orleans Pelicans in 2014, things became official tonight when he agreed to a contract with the Dallas Mavericks according to various reports.
The Al-Farouq Aminu deal is for two years at the veteran’s minimum. Player option for the second season.
— Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) July 24, 2014
The deal is a steal for the Mavs who gain an elite rebounder and above average defender at the minimum while they try to build a team around Dirk Nowitzki for just $2.1 million over the two years. With Rick Carlisle leading things in Dallas look for Aminu to be put in plenty of positions where he strengths shine and his weaknesses (three-point shooting) are hidden, which may mean seeing a lot of Aminu at power forward in small ball lineups.
For the Pelicans the loss probably comes a bit tougher than expected as the team is set to pay John Salmons $2 million this year and Aminu is a better overall player. Salmons will help the Pelicans on offense much more due to his shooting from the corners but Aminu did just about everything else on the basketball court better and actually posted a higher true shooting percentage and effective field goal percentage than Salmons did in 2013-2014. In the long run it could be a case of both teams benefiting from their decisions but at this point it is hard to see the upside in paying an older, less versatile player more money this year than a 24 year-old player who has more room to grown and a better grasp of the team’s offensive and defensive system.
The move officially ends what can be deemed a bit of a disappointing career for Aminu in New Orleans after he was traded as part of the Chris Paul trade. Aminu was never able to put together his physical gifts into anything on offense making him hard to play for important minutes at small forward despite his defense and elite rebounding. His best season came in 2012-2013 when he played in 76 games with 71 starts and averaged 27.2 minutes, 7.3 points, 7.7 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.2 steals per game for the then Hornets.