Chicago Bulls Rumors: Al-Farouq Aminu Would Be Excellent Addition in Free Agency

By Ryan Heckman
Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

This offseason will feature a lot of potential changes for the Chicago Bulls. Starting with a few of their role players coming off the bench, they have a couple players who could not be returning. Having to fill in those roster spots is going to be one of the top priorities for the front office.

There have been rumors going around via a few Bulls news sources on Twitter that the team could be targeting free-agent-to-be forward Al-Farouq Aminu from the New Orleans Pelicans. Aminu will be entering only his third year in the NBA after coming out of Wake Forest two seasons ago.

At only 22 years old, Aminu has a giant upside. In 27 minutes per game last year with the Hornets – now Pelicans – Aminu averaged 7.2 points, 7.7 rebounds and 1.2 steals. He shot the ball at a rate of almost 48 percent from the field – a very impressive number from a young small forward such as himself. Imagine if he had the green light to shoot even more.

The reasons Aminu would be an excellent addition to the Bulls are primarily because he is young, coachable and has a high upside with the way he has played in his first two years. Giving the Pelicans almost eight rebounds per game last year in 27 minutes is a great number; one that would be welcomed by Chicago with open arms who are always up there in terms of the NBA’s top rebounding teams.

The Bulls are a defensive team first. Aminu can not only rebound, but defend well. He would give the Bulls another young body who can steal the ball and defend the more athletic players in the league. Already boasting guys like Luol Deng and Jimmy Butler, the question is then, why would Chicago go after another similar player?

Here’s the logic: Butler started at shooting guard for much of the playoffs and part of the regular season when injuries affected the starting five. Going into next year, it sure looks like Butler will start at shooting guard alongside Deng at the three spot. With RichardHamilton not playing well and always being an injury liability, Aminu would be a phenomenal sixth man off the bench.

The Bulls need more scoring though, right? Remember, Aminu shot nearly 48 percent from the field – very efficient at that age. He can only improve at 22 years old, and the right coaching and teaching would surely do the trick.

Behind the coaching of Tom Thibodeau and learning from guys like Deng and Butler, Aminu could flourish into a great all-around player. At 6’9”, Aminu could potentially play either small forward or power forward if the Bulls go small at times. Chicago played Deng at power forward during some stretches when their bigs were either in foul trouble or hurting from injury.

The best way to sum up his potential with Chicago is that he is a ‘Thibs’ type of player. He’s young, athletic, a good rebounder and can play defense. If you play for ‘Thibs,’ you better play defense. Being so young and understanding something like that already, Aminu would fit very well with Chicago. If the Bulls go after him and ultimately sign him, they immediately upgrade their roster and give them a much needed boost on the bench.

Ryan Heckman is a Senior NBA writer for also contributing to the NFL. Follow him on Twitter @ryanmheckman  or add him to your network on Google.

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