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9/9: Al-Farouq Aminu

He just seems to be a player that we already have:

The uber-athletic small forward who can't shoot.

I'm picturing him more as an uber-athletic four...who can't shoot, but can defend the position and rebound. Team still needs a wing shooter, but I see Aminu as a piece if my top five are off the board.

This would seem to spell the end for Thad if they indeed drafted Aminu. They are different players, but Aminu pretty much plays the same spot as Thad. Aminu's defense seems to be very good. From DX-
"Defensively, Aminu continues to impress, as he not only has outstanding physical tools to help get the job done, but he also seems extremely committed to the task"

I could live with that at the sixth pick if we fall there.

One of his weaknesses is "left hand," which reminds me of Thad's right.

Yep, unless Thad takes a major step forward and proves he can play the three, he's either a bench player, trade fodder, or an expiring contract. I don't think Aminu is going to be a 30 min/game player this season, so it's really Thad's last chance to show some development, in my eyes. Assuming AFA is drafted, of course.

Agreed with Brian. I've been warming on Aminu, mainly because the more I've gone back and watched him, the more I think he can legitimately defend and rebound well enough to play the 4.

My issue is can he play the 3 with Iggy on the court with him. He seemed to blossom this year when moved to the 4 spot and really seems not nearly as finished offensively as Thad on the perimeter. I was a guy that feared Josh Smith coming here would make for breathtaking basketball some nights but ugly clanking off the rim basketball most nights and feel the same about Aminu.

I want a team that can play basic basketball, halfcourt and running, and not get locked in to all our guys being athletes that may get stymied come playoff, halfcourt style of play. Aminu wouldn!t be in my top 8 for this team. My 5 to 10 group [ Johnson,Aldrich,Monroe,Montiejunis,Udoh,Henry]

Derek, I really regret Vesely leaving this draft, he and Aminu are both fitting of our proposed "style"; who do you think will be the better player?

Aminu at the three, Iguodala at the two isn't going to work, IMO. If they do draft him, I see him as a four and spelling Iguodala at the three from time to time.

Charlie Ace reply to Brian on May 13 at 12:03

How about Thad at the 3 and AI at the 2? Tried that already? I guess I'm not convinced that Thad can't play small forward. I know most knowledgable Sixers fans think he can't, and I certainly understand why, but I see his jumper improving. Right now, he's a streak shooter and a good scorer. And he's only 22. Jordan's coaching did not help Thad's game, though a lot of that may be Thad's fault for not putting out the effort on defense. Thad needs to be drilled on defensive technique. Whether or not he has the attitude..... who knows?

Great post Brian.

eddies' heady's on May 13 at 8:20

Just another athletic, raw, unskilled, low IQ player that can barely hit the side of a barn when shooting. He was abused when playing defense in his own conference which wasn't abundant with talented big men. This guy would do good to be Tyrus Thomas-lite. Heaven forbid they pick him.

He, like Thomas, would be a nice change of pace guy but between he and Montiejunis, give me a 7 ft. stretch 4 that can block shots and possibly be a 20 ppg. scorer. And who ends up being the better rebounder when all is said and done?

I haven't seen Motiejunas play, so all I have to go on here are numbers and scouting reports. The numbers kind of tell me he isn't much of a shooter nor much of a rebounder. The scouting reports tell me he doesn't care about defense, he's weak and he doesn't rebound at all. It all sounds like Bargnani to me, without the range on his jumper.

Bargnani's a much better (and slightly underrated) man-man defender.

I have the same concerns.

I think that his offense and the fact he's not a good shooter are a problem. I think that identity is a valid question in that he might be a little bit of a tweener.

Defense though? The guy's rebounding numbers were insane and how did he get abused?

Sounds like a Luc Mbah a Moute clone to me...

Aminu is raw offensively, LRMAM was non-existent on the offensive end in college. There's a difference. If Aminu turns out to be the type of defender LRMAM is in the pros, with some offensive skills, that's a good get IMO.

Statman on May 13 at 9:13

I haven't seen Aminu much, but everything I've seen and read indicates that he and Thad are two totally different players. They're about the same size and they're both athletic, but that's where the similarities end. Thad is a finesse player, both offensively and defensively, while Aminu is more physical on both ends. On the other hand, Thad has good touch in the lane and in the post if he gets his shot off cleanly, while Aminu seems to have very poor touch, even from in close (and I could be imagining this, but Aminu seems to have small hands too, so he's not as good a finisher inside as one would expect given his athleticism).

Given Derek's point on libertyballers about players playing alongside Iguodala (good article, by the way, Derek), I'd think Aminu is even a worse fit alongside Iguodala in the halfcourt than Thad is. On the other hand, better defense and more rebounding at the 4 might provide more running opportunities -- though saying Aminu would be a plus defender at the 4 is strictly theoretical at this point, since he hasn't had to defend the Boshes and Garnetts of the world who can shoot jumpers off the pick-and-roll.

One last issue about drafting Aminu is what do they do with Brand and the distribution of playing time at PF? It's one thing to say, from a quality-of-play and player development standpoint, that Aminu should get the bulk of the minutes at PF, but what would it look like for the team to have a $16 million/year role player? This "saving face" issue shouldn't decide whether or not to draft Aminu (or some other highly-ranked PF), but I would bet it's not entirely inconsequential in the Sixers' thinking ...

Actually, I think minute distribution is less of an issue if they draft Aminu than if they draft Favors or Cousins. I'd be fine with Aminu playing minutes similar to what Thad and Jrue played in their rookie seasons (1554 for Thad, 1776 for Jrue). He could get those minutes split between the three and the four, and they could come from Jason Smith and Willie's share, rather than Brand and Speights'.

In the bigger picture, though, I agree Brand's cap number has to be an issue for Stefanski, but I can't let that stop me from taking the best player available. They're stuck with Brand for two more seasons, but that doesn't mean you can stick your head in the sand until the and not look for opportunities to upgrade the position. If the organization needs to put a short-term spin on it, Aminu can be the change-of-pace four this coming season, allowing them to put an intense, pressure defense lineup on the floor for stretches.

His hands don't look small in the picture on this post, do they?

Statman reply to Brian on May 13 at 13:18

His hands don't look small in the picture on this post, do they?

Maybe it's not "small" hands but "bad" hands. I just remember him fumbling several passes inside, Sammy-style, but my sample size is admittedly small ...

Peoples concerns are grounded, but I still agree with Brian. If Aminu is the BPA then you pick him. If he does not fit with the current line-up or it means he fights with Thad for thje same minutes than so be it. this team needs to stock up on talent instead of acting like they are a piece away.

The fact that Aminu "reminds you" of Thad or Mbah a Moute is true but not a reason to pass on him. For the same reason that Clarence Weatherspoon, Lou Williams and Harold Minor are not reasons to pass on Allen Iverson, Charles Barley or Michael Jordan. Players can resemble each other in style and one could be a superstar and the other a role player. It depends on talent.

This is why Aminu could be a legit stretch PF while Thad needs to learn to be a SF or might be a career bench player:

w/o shoes: 6'5.75" (2" taller w/ shoes, most players 1" taller)
Wingspan: 6'11.5"
College stats per 40 min:
6.6 reb / 0.4 blks /1.3 steals

w/o shoes: ? (6'8.25 w/ shoes at Nike Hoops Summit 2008)
Wingspan: 7'4.5" Nike Hoops Summit 2008
College stats per 40 min:
13.7 reb / 1.8 blks / 1.8 steals

Cooney is chatting on Philly.com. I'll respond to the above thoughts a little later.

Yeah, that was a waste of time. These guys shouldn't do chats if they don't have a firm grasp on the nba.

I couldn't even read the entire thing.

I don't think Aminu would be a bas pick at #5 or #7, but if that's what it comes to then I'm sure we will all be disappointed.

At least as far as the Sixers are concerned... this is a 5 man draft.

You meant #6 or #7, right?

Yeah, obviously I want to get into the top five, top three ideally, but odds are we're at #6 or #7 and I like him better than the other guys who will probably be available. I could live with it, but it's not a franchise-altering pick, most likely. It's just another piece to the puzzle.

Yep, that's what I meant.

My hope is that if they pick 6th someone above them will reach for Aldrich or Monroe. Can't say I'm that optomistic abaout that happening.

But I'm excited about a top 3 pick- even though I don't see any of them as top superstars.

If we're at #6, that means Minnesota is ahead of us. That bodes well.

I've been a fan of Aminu all year and think he will have a Josh Smith like impact in the NBA but he has no character concerns that we know of. I see him like you Brian as the new prototype of power forward. He can definitly play the four full time and will have an unbelievable quickness advantage against almost every four in the league. Plus his rebounding numbers once he moved to the four full time skyrocketed. I watched him all year and as the year progressed his confidence in his jumper really improved. He would be the ideal pick for us at 6 if we stay there.

teddygreen on May 13 at 12:29

Aminu would fit the run and gun offence that Dan Majerle envsions that the Sixers could be...

Suns assistant coach Dan Majerle interviewed for the Philadelphia 76ers' vacant head-coaching job Monday with 76ers President Ed Stefanski, Senior Vice President Tony DiLeo and consultant Gene Shue, and said the 76ers are built to "play fast" like the Suns.

"They're talented," Majerle said. "They've got a lot of similarities to the way we're set up. I think they're looking to play fast, which is probably one of the reasons they talked to me. With that personnel, they probably should play fast."


Mike P reply to teddygreen on May 13 at 19:39

You mean the all run no gun offense we had in like 2008?

If we pick at Six it's basically between him, Aldrich, and Johnson.

If we are keeping Iggy, take Johnson, if we manage to swing some deal with iggy for picks, players, and cap space, then we take Aminu.

God I hope we get a top 3 pick.

He still looks at the ball when he dribbles.

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