Mavs Al-Farouq Aminu Jumps To Blazers
“The Chief Has Arrived” – not only a literal translation of Al-Farouq Aminu’s name, but also a metaphor for the arrival of AFA to the Dallas Mavericks last July. While it didn’t cause a big splash with some, Aminu was seen as a very exciting prospect for the Mavericks organization, especially considering the minimum-wafe price tag that was attached to such a raw talent. Defense, athleticism and energy were all things that the Mavs sorely lacked on the perimeter in the 2013-2014 season, and they were all things that Aminu brought to this team ... after it had targeted him early in free agency, hoping he'd wait, and then letting him know that he'd be used in different and better ways than he was in New Orleans.
The Mavs held out a slim hope that he'd wait again. But no. Woj is first to report that AFA is first to leave with a four-year, $30-mil deal in Portland. Dallas, meanwhile, is focusing on the big fish like Jordan (DB.com believes Dallas was with him in LA as the clock struck midnight NBA time) and Aldridge (with a Wednesday meeting) and with Wes Matthews, too (Stein reporting he's visiting with Dallas as you read this.)
Aminu was not a stat-sheet superstar for most of the season, averaging only 5.6 points and 4.6 rebounds per game. However, once he found his stride, he contributed to the team at an extremely high level – most notably in the month of April where he averaged 9.2 points and 7.6 rebounds per game. Aminu’s best game of the season came in the lone playoff win on April 26th against the Rockets. That night, the Wake Forest alum scored 16 points and grabbed 12 rebounds - willing the Mavs to victory in Dallas on the heels of a tough loss. More important than the numbers were the intangibles that the 24-year old brought to table. When Aminu was on the floor, guarding a variety of foes in a Shawn Marion Starter Kit fashion, the rest of the team fed off of his relentless energy, turning it into fast breaks and defensive stops.
As seen in the video below, Aminu possesses great athleticism, energy and tenacity (and even developed an outside shot) - something that Rick Carlisle put to great use.
This spring, Aminu declined his option with the Mavericks for next season making him a free agent. One can hardly blame the former lottery pick for his decision. ... especially now that he's cashing in.
"I love this team,'' AFA said recently. "I love this city. Great guys, like I just alluded to. And the city, it's a beautiful city. I hope I can be right here.”
Instead, AFA will learn to love Portland, to the tune of $30 million.
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