2013 NBA Draft: Minnesota Timberwolves Improve Interior Defense with Gorgui Dieng at 21
The Minnesota Timberwolves failed to address their lack of three-point shooting with the 14th pick in the 2013 NBA Draft and now have failed to do so once again with the 21st pick as they selected forward/center Gorgui Dieng out of Louisville, fresh off of winning a National Championship in college.
Though the Timberwolves didn’t get a shooter, they were able to address another one of their needs, namely their interior defense.
Minnesota definitely has a talented frontcourt with Kevin Love and Nikola Pekovic if they can get Pekovic back from restricted free agency. However, the thing about Love and Pek is that neither player is a dominant defender on the interior. That’s why Dieng is a fantastic addition for the Wolves.
Dieng is 6-foot-11 with shoes on and has a fantastic 7-foot-3.5 wingspan as well as solid athleticism. He was a fantastic defender in college, averaging 2.5 blocks and 1.3 steals per game last season at Louisville. It’s also important to note that he defended the rim without fouling, averaging just 2.6 personal fouls per game.
The downside of Dieng is that he is already 23 years old and he doesn’t have a fully developed offensive game. He’s not a scorer in terms of having post-moves with his back to the basket, but he does have a semi-reliable mid-range jumper and is good at attacking the rim on open lanes and off of cuts.
However, the biggest thing that Dieng will provide for the Timberwolves is his defense. Dieng can give Minnesota solid minutes off of the bench where he can protect the rim and keep the game close while the starters get a rest. They still need to add shooting, but Dieng will really help the Wolves out next year.
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