Dieng’s limitations as an NBA prospect are obvious. He is already 23-years-old and has yet to develop much of an offensive game. Last year for the national champion Louisville Cardinals, he started to develop a bit of a low post game and high post jump shot, but it still needs a ton of work.
One thing Dieng can bring to an NBA team right away is a substantial impact on the defensive end. He pulled down over nine rebounds per game in each of his last two seasons at Louisville, and he blocked 2.5 shots per game last year.
Dieng is NBA-ready on the defensive end, but not quite on the offensive end. But the beauty about the situation is that Dieng can spend some time in the Developmental League to work on his game. The Timberwolves are already 10 deep with Kevin Love and Derrick Williams at the power forward position and Nikola Pekovic and Ronny Turiaf in the middle.
Barring any injury, Dieng’s contributions will need to be felt more in 2014. Pekovic and Love are locked up for multiple years, but Dieng will have the chance to be the first big man off the bench if he can develop some sort of offensive game. With a little bit of work, it won’t take long for him to overtake Ronny Turiaf because of his superior defensive abilities.
Dieng is a bit of a project, but he could turn out to be the exact defensive stopper that the Timberwolves need if they expect to become a playoff team within the next two years.