Al-Farouq Aminu has agreed to a four-year, $30 million deal with the Portland Trail Blazers, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports.
I mean, what? That this happened so quickly in free agency, just 30 minutes after free agency began, and that it was Aminu signing elsewhere, it's a complete shock. The Mavericks were factoring Aminu heavily into their plans for the future due to his versatility, but they surely made it clear that they could not commit to him until their negotiations with big name free agents like DeAndre Jordan and LaMarcus Aldridge were settled.
It seems like that wasn't enough -- and to be fair, this is probably more money than Aminu would have got from the Mavericks. Remember, he was an absolute steal last season on a minimum contract. To see him jump from that to just under $8 million is fantastic for him as a player.
However, it's a big blow to Dallas practically before their free agency even got going. The reason they loved Aminu was the way he could play positionless defense. He could check a point guard as well as he could a power forward and switch onto almost anyone. His offense came and went but it was at its best against the Rockets in the first round playoff loss, where he finally nailed three-pointers with consistency from the corners and even showed his handles once or twice on the break. Most importantly, he's young at 24 and was a player you could build around.
Before free agency, we speculated that Aminu could be re-signed for $5 million a year or so. It's possible he took this Portland offer to the Mavericks and they straight up told him, "We won't be able to match that." While it's pretty early to make those assumptions, Dallas knows their plans this offseason and if that price tag on Aminu didn't fit, then that's the end of the story. You have to stick with it.
Still, we're going to miss Aminu in Dallas. Treat him well, Portland.