When Al-Farouq Aminu was traded to the New Orleans Hornets along with Eric Gordon as part of the trade that sent Chris Paul to the Los Angeles Clippers, it was believed that Aminu could grow into the Hornets’ small forward of the future. Things haven’t worked out quite as well as initially planned for either side, and this should be Aminu’s last season in New Orleans.
Despite Aminu having prototypical size and length for a NBA wing, he hasn’t played well enough at any point in his career so far that should warrant any consideration outside of a limited bench role. Somehow, Aminu has managed to start in 53 of the 58 games he has appeared in with the Hornets this season, even while only averaging 7.4 points in the 27.3 minutes of playing time Aminu sees a night. Much more is expected from a starting player at one of the NBA’s premier positions.
This isn’t to say that Aminu doesn’t have any value. To his credit, Aminu is a solid rebounder and averages close to eight boards a game (7.8 to be exact). Aminu is also a capable defender that uses his long arms and 6’9″ frame to smother opposing players on the perimeter. But Aminu’s skill level appears to be better suited for a bench role rather than that of a starter.
The Hornets declined to pick up the 2013-2014 option on Aminu’s contract and it was a wise decision. Aminu has shown little if any progress since the Clippers selected him eighth overall, and the Hornets are better off drafting a younger small forward than holding on to Aminu.