When he was drafted by the San Antonio Spurs in the first round of the 2005 NBA draft, the Rouen native was such a surprise pick that it took 45 minutes for the NBA to print a sticker with his name and put it on the draft board.
When the Spurs chose him, right after the 2004-05 season, he was averaging 6.0 points and 4.0 rebounds at Le Havre, an average French Pro A team.
The next year, this 2.08 meters center, who only started playing basketball at the age of 16, showed great improvement by averaging 9.7 points and 5.2 rebounds per game while shooting over 56% from the floor with Le Havre.
French powerhouse Pau-Orthez offered him a last stop before the NBA, as he was supposed to be the club's starting center in the Euroleague in 2006-07, but the 20-year-old seemed a bit lost at this level.
So Pau signed US center Michael Wright, and as a result, Mahinmi saw very limited playing time (11 mpg).
He spent the 2007-08 season with Austin, in the NBA Development League, in which he impressed the Spurs enough to put him into the roster for the 2007-08 season - but an ankle injury did not heal well and almost ruined his 2008-09 season. Back healthy, he was the last name included in the national team for EuroBasket 2009 after coach Collet got a bit tired of the defensive weaknesses of Johan Petro.
Still considered as a prospect, Ian has played very little basketball for the past few years (24 games last season for 4.6ppg and 2.3rpg) and really needs to find playing time somewhere in order to develop.