Gorgui Dieng is ready for NBA, coach says

  • Article by: JERRY ZGODA , Star Tribune
  • Updated: June 29, 2013 - 12:01 AM

 

New Timberwolves center Gorgui Dieng first played basketball back home in Senegal just six years ago, but Flip Saunders refuses to call a 6-11 shot-blocking center who’s both raw and already 23 years old a project.

The Wolves acquired Dieng — the defensive anchor of Louisville’s NCAA championship team last April — with the second of two first-round picks received in a draft-night trade with Utah, choosing with the 21st overall pick a player they projected ahead of others on their draft board even though he was a late starter.

“I think he’s more ready to play than most of those guys because he has an NBA skill and that skill is that he can guard,” Saunders said.

Saunders also praised Dieng’s ability to pass from the high post, an attractive quality for a big man in Rick Adelman’s offensive system.

“I think I just opened another chapter in my book,” said Dieng, who used his 7-4 wingspan to average 9.4 rebounds and 2.5 blocks in his third and final season at Louisville. “I know I have a long way to go. … I just get drafted, but that’s not my goal. My goal is like playing 10 or 15 years in the NBA. That’s what I’m all about.”

Etc.

• Saturday is the deadline for Wolves forward Andrei Kirilenko to exercise a $10.2 million option year for next season. If he opts out, he becomes an unrestricted free agent able to negotiate a longer contract extension with the Wolves or another team. Kirilenko’s agent said late Friday afternoon that his client hadn’t decided yet.

• The Wolves on Friday exercised the $2.1 million option on forward Dante Cunningham’s contract for next season.

• Saunders said he expects Muhammad, Dieng and second-round pick Lorenzo Brown from North Carolina State to play in the Las Vegas summer league next month. Illinois guard Brandon Paul also will play for the Wolves.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Houston - LP: D. Keuchel 0 FINAL
NY Yankees - WP: B. McCarthy 3
Cleveland - LP: C. Kluber 1 FINAL
Minnesota - WP: P. Hughes 4
Detroit - LP: D. Price 0 FINAL
Tampa Bay - WP: A. Cobb 1
Arizona - LP: O. Perez 0 FINAL
Washington - WP: R. Soriano 1
San Francisco - LP: R. Vogelsong 1 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - WP: T. Wada 2
Atlanta - WP: J. Teheran 8 FINAL
Cincinnati - LP: D. Holmberg 0
LA Angels - WP: M. Shoemaker 2 FINAL
Boston - LP: R. De La Rosa 0
San Francisco - WP: M. Bumgarner 5 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - LP: T. Wood 3
San Diego 1 Top 9th Inning
Los Angeles 2
Pittsburgh 21 FINAL
Philadelphia 31
Carolina 8/22/14 6:30 PM
New England
NY Giants 8/22/14 6:30 PM
NY Jets
Jacksonville 8/22/14 6:30 PM
Detroit
Oakland 8/22/14 7:00 PM
Green Bay
Chicago 8/22/14 9:00 PM
Seattle
Tampa Bay 8/23/14 3:30 PM
Buffalo
Tennessee 8/23/14 6:00 PM
Atlanta
Dallas 8/23/14 6:00 PM
Miami
Washington 8/23/14 6:30 PM
Baltimore
New Orleans 8/23/14 7:00 PM
Indianapolis
Minnesota 8/23/14 7:00 PM
Kansas City
St. Louis 8/23/14 7:00 PM
Cleveland
Houston 8/23/14 8:00 PM
Denver
San Diego 8/24/14 3:00 PM
San Francisco
Cincinnati 8/24/14 7:00 PM
Arizona
(21) Texas A&M 8/28/14 5:00 PM
(9) So Carolina
Wake Forest 8/28/14 6:00 PM
ULM
Boise State 8/28/14 7:00 PM
(18) Ole Miss
Tulane 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Tulsa
Temple 8/28/14 8:15 PM
Vanderbilt
Rutgers 8/28/14 9:00 PM
Washington St
Weber State 8/28/14 9:30 PM
(19) Arizona State
Montreal 8/22/14 7:30 PM
Winnipeg
Toronto 8/23/14 3:00 PM
Edmonton
Calgary 8/24/14 2:00 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 8/24/14 6:00 PM
Brt Columbia
Ottawa 8/29/14 6:30 PM
Montreal
Winnipeg 8/31/14 2:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Toronto 9/1/14 12:00 PM
Hamilton
Edmonton 9/1/14 3:30 PM
Calgary
Washington 73 FINAL
Indiana 78
San Antonio 84 FINAL
Minnesota 88
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How do you like the Kevin Love trade?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close