DALLAS – Al-Farouq Aminu plans to opt-out of the final year of his contract with the Dallas Mavericks and test the free agent market.
Aminu, who will be an unrestricted free agent on July 1, made steady progress this season and was slated to earn $1.1 million next year. But he’ll opt out of that deal, and his solid play in the second half of the season and in the playoffs should earn him a nice payday.
"I think it makes the most sense to me,’’ Aminu said, referring to opting out of his current two-year deal with the Mavs. "I’m young and I want somewhere where I can grow and be a part of something great.’’
Aminu would prefer to sign a long-term deal with the Mavs so he can have some security. Especially since he played this past season for the bargain-basement price of $981,084.
"I love this team, I love this city,’’ Aminu said. "Great guys, like I just alluded to.
"And the city, it’s a beautiful city. I hope I can be right here.’’
In 18.5 minutes per game, the 24-year old Aminu averaged 5.6 points and 4.6 rebounds per game. He showed the ability to guard four positions, and brought a lot of energy and activity to the court.
"He was one of the really bright spots of this year,’’ center Tyson Chandler said. "He reminded me a little bit of myself and others who have been in similar situations where you’ve kind of been on teams that you didn’t necessarily find your spot and your home.
"I feel like he’s always been a promising player throughout his career. Teams never put him necessarily in a position to succeed, and this year was kind of a growing experience for him because I think from those teams that he’s played on, you almost sometimes become a whipping boy.’’