Posted June 27, 2013

Gorgui Dieng selected No. 21 by Timberwolves in NBA draft

2013 NBA draft
Gorgui Dieng averaged 9.8 points and 9.4 rebounds at Louisville last season.

Gorgui Dieng averaged 9.8 points and 9.4 rebounds at Louisville last season. (Rich Clarkson/NCAA Photos/SI)

The Jazz selected Gorgui Dieng with No. 21 pick in the NBA draft on Thursday, but he’s headed to Minnesota as part of the Trey Burke deal. Here’s a look at Dieng and how he fits with the Timberwolves:

Bio: Louisville | Junior | Center

Vitals: 6-11, 230 pounds

2012-13 Statistics: 9.8 points, 9.4 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 2.5 blocks, 1.3 steals, 53.4 percent shooting in 33 games.

Strengths: The Big East Defensive Player of the Year is known for his shot-blocking and rebounding, but he’s also a solid passer out of the high post and a capable mid-range shooter. Scouts also appreciate his screen-setting ability. His defense and feel for the game give him a chance to contribute immediately as a rookie.

Weaknesses: Dieng will be 24 in January, bringing questions about his upside. While he’s flashed potential as a jump shooter, he’s not much of a threat in the post.

What Scouts Say: “He’s smart. You can play through him. He can make a 15-foot jump shot. People compare him to Roy Hibbert, but Hibbert is bigger and was more of a scorer in college. He has to become a better free-throw shooter [65.2 percent].”

Team Fit: Dieng will provide what Minnesota badly needs — shotblocking — but he’s more skilled than that. He’s a big man who can shoot out to the free throw line and also pass. He has good hands for a guy his size. On a roster with Nikola Pecovic (a restricted free agent this summer) and Greg Steimsma as center options, there looks to be opportunity for Dieng to contribute right away. When you think that the Wolves got both Dieng and Shabazz Muhammad for Trey Burke, that’s good business.

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