The Dallas Mavericks have lost their most valuable forward, Al Farouq Aminu to free agency. The forward reportedly left the team after the Portland pursued him with a very lucrative deal that is worth $30 million. Though Aminu was not available for comments, the terms of the contract state that he will play for his new team for the next four years.
While the 24 year old forward is smiling all the way to the bank, the Mavs on the other hand are struggling to find a player that can fill the gap that he left. The Mavs are currently considering nurturing one of their rookies.
The departure of Aminu was bound to happen especially because he is always at the top of his game. The only way the Mavs would have stopped the forward from joining another team would have called for his contract extension. But since his agreement renewal was not forthcoming, he just tried his luck in the free agency market. And he succeeded.
In the previous season, Aminu represented Mavs in 74 games. He actually recorded 5.6 points and 4.6 rebounds after playing in 18 minutes of every game. Besides that, 41.2 percent of his scores were made from the field while 27.4 percent were thrown within the three-point range.
As a matter of fact, Aminu recorded the best performance during the first round of the playoffs. Back then, he had an average of 11.2 points, 7.2 boards, 1.6 blocked shots and 2.0 steals. Moreover, he was doubling as a defender and a forward respectively. His flexibility gave the Mavs an edge over their rivals.
And now that Aminu is gone, 13-time All-Star Dirk Nowitzki argued that the forward was the best the Mavs has ever had. According to Dirk, Aminu knew how to utilize his ball possessions and his height.
“I felt he was really good all year,” Nowitzki said while praising Aminu’s performance during last season. “You can never have enough athletes now in the game that can run, that can finish on the break, that can defend and use his length.
I thought he was phenomenal. He made it hard on James, just using his length really well. I think he worked on his shooting throughout the year, so he had some good shooting games. But he’s a slasher and great energy player, and I thought he played extremely well during the playoffs.”
Prior to joining the Mavs in July 2014, Aminu was previously playing for the Pelicans and Clippers. But the other teams seem to not have noticed his potential. And now that Aminu is thriving in his career, all credit goes to Mavs head coach, Rick Carlisle and fellow trainers for molding him into the star he is today.
“He did a great job,” Carlisle said of Aminu’s efforts last season. “He was one of our best workers from Day 1. He came from some systems where there were limits put on what he was expected to do. Coming into this, I made a promise to him that we would work to develop his game to places it had not been.
He needed to develop as a three-point shooter. He needed to learn to play inside and outside. He did not shoot the three particularly great during the year, but there was never one time when I did not encourage him to continue shooting them and continue working on them.
As the playoffs unfolded, he shot over 60 percent from three and did a lot of great things. He’s an exciting young player. … He had a great experience here. We had a great experience with him and he helped us. He’s young still. He’s 24 years old.
Guys with his ability level and work ethic have a higher ceiling than most. He just has such great heart and such great work ethic that I wouldn’t bet against him. I wouldn’t bet against him.”