The New Orleans Pelicans are on the short list of the NBA teams that have improved the most over the course of this off-season. Not only were they able to complete a deal with the Philadelphia 76ers to land All-Star point guard Jrue Holiday, but they also worked out a sign-and-trade that brought in the talented and versatile Tyreke Evans.
Looking at the Pelicans roster, it seems like their starters are going to include Holiday, Eric Gordon (if healthy) and Evans. If that’s the case, that likely means that three-year veteran Al-Farouq Aminu is going to be pushed out of the starting five.
Aminu started 71 games for the Pelicans last season and played in 76 games. He averaged 7.3 points, 7.7 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.2 steals in 27.2 minutes per game while shooting 47.5 percent from the floor, but just 21.1 percent from long-range.
Unless the Pelicans plan to start Aminu at the power forward, a move that seems unwise and unlikely, he is going to be coming off of the bench for them in the 2013-2014 season. If that’s the case, he’s going to have to show a ton of improvement on his game in comparison to last season.
Though he shot a decent percentage last season, Aminu is incredibly limited offensively. In fact, he shot just 39.4 percent and 41.1 percent in his first two NBA season, respectively. He has a horrendous jumper and his limited ball-handling skills really make it to where he can only score in transition or at the rim.
Aminu is a solid rebounder and defender, but he isn’t dynamic in any part of his game. If he wants to be a real asset off of the bench for the Pelicans this season, he’s going to have to work on his game and carve out a clear niche for himself. If he doesn’t, he could get lost in the shuffle of this improved New Orleans team.