Al-Farouq Aminu Signs with Orlando
What’s the deal
3 Years, $29 million unrestricted signing
What does Aminu bring to the Magic?
Aminu is a fine player. He’s carved out a career as a consistent starter despite only once averaging more than 10 points per game in a season. He tries hard on defense and rebounds pretty well - the move to a smaller league has helped Aminu, who has never shot well enough to be a small forward, but has worked on his three enough to be a passable stretch-four. Most teams would be happy to have a good pro like Aminu on their team.
What does this move mean for the Magic?
The Magic are not most teams. After investing in a combo forward in Jonathan Isaac in the 2017 draft, and drafting a combo forward in Chuma Okeke, they’re spending almost $10 million a year on...a combo forward! One could make the argument that Isaac, Okeke, and Aaron Gordon should all spend most of their minutes at power forward, and the Magic just added another cook to the kitchen. It means a logjam in the frontcourt, where there is no guarantee that young players in need of development will ever get the appropriate playing time, and like Mario Hezonja, could turn into basketball vagabonds.
This deal makes no sense for the Magic. I’m sure Aminu is happy to get that bag, having never made as much on a per-season basis in the Association, but I cannot wrap my head around why the Magic would look at the nominal strength of their team and throw more money at it. F.
I don’t worry that Magic fans will get used to postseason trips, but they really have to wonder when the next time they’ll be playing in late April will be. Orlando has drafted in the high lottery seemingly since the franchise was expanded into existence in the 90’s, and now that they finally have a playoff team, they re-sign a center when they just used a pick on a center, and sign a new forward after just drafting two similar forwards in the years before and after said center. Pass on Vucevic. Pass on Aminu. Take that $34 MILLION DOLLARS and make a run at Kemba. Lure D’Angelo Russell. D.J. Augustine is not the answer. Augustine, Vucevic, and Aminu is a triple negative. Thank god I’m not a Magic fan.