There are a lot of things the Dallas Mavericks have to address this offseason. One of them is trying to hold on to Al-Farouq Aminu, who might not be a stat monster but is a very useful defender coming off the bench, something the Mavs need. Another issue will be trying to get rid of Raymond Felton without it costing too much money.
Aminu is now a five-year veteran in the NBA. He has a $1.1 million player option next season but he’s going to opt out, because he knows his market value improved over the course of last season. Not because of the 5.6 points and 4.6 rebounds he averaged during the regular season, but more because of his defense and the 15 points, 8.7 rebounds and 2.3 steals in the final three games of the postseason, although it was on a losing effort.
Aminu wants to stay. I love this team. I love this city. … I hope I can be right here. But he’s going to cost money, something around $4 million or maybe more per season. The Mavericks won’t have the full mid-level exception ($5.46 million) to use on him, and the cap-room exception ($2.81 million) isn’t going to be enough. This means straight out of the cap space.
With so many re-signings and changes the Mavericks need to make, paying $4-5 million to Aminu suddenly sounds like a lot. A nice way to try and allocate the money for his new contract will be getting rid of Raymond Felton, who has turned into one of the more useless players in the league.
Felton has a player option worth $3.9 million next season. Considering he averaged 3.7 points last season, playing only 29 games, it’s hard to believe anyone is going to accept a trade for him, or to think he’ll opt out in search of a better deal. This leaves cutting him and using the stretch provision, which would chop two-thirds of his salary off the team’s 2015-2016 salary cap, and make some room for Aminu to be re-signed.