Roster Review | Gorgui Dieng

by Kyle Ratke, Digital Content Manager

Digital Content Manager

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C | 6’11, 251 lbs

2017-18 season: 79 games, 16.9 MPG, 5.9 PPG, 4.6 RPG, 0.9 APG, 47.9 FG%, 31.1 3P%, 77.4 FT%

After starting all 82 games in 2016-17, Wolves center Gorgui Dieng came off the bench in 2017-18 with Taj Gibson signing with the Wolves in the offseason.

It wasn’t the easiest transition for Dieng, who saw his minutes go from 32.4 per game to 16.9.

Dieng’s per-game averages fell to 5.9 points and 4.6 rebounds per game, both his lowest marks since his rookie season in 2013-14. But per-game averages don’t tell the whole story. Per 36 minutes, Dieng’s numbers were actually better than they were in 2016-17. Dieng averaged 12.7 points (+1.6) and 9.7 rebounds (+0.9).

Trying to get into a rhythm off the bench can be difficult, but Dieng took the role in stride and at 28, is in the middle of the prime of his career.

Top Three Games Of The Season

3.) March 24 at Philadelphia 76ers

In this 120-108 loss to the Sixers, Dieng finished with 15 points, 11 rebounds, two blocks, one steal and one assist in 26 minutes off the bench. He shot 6-for-12 from the field, 1-for-1 from the 3-point line and 2-for-2 from the free-throw line.

2.) Jan. 1 vs. Los Angeles Lakers

In this 114-96 New Year’s Day win over the Lakers, Dieng finished with 17 points, four rebounds and two blocks. He shot a near-perfect 7-for-8 from the field and 3-for-4 from the free-throw line. He was a bench-leading +6 in the game.

1.) Nov. 29 at New Orleans Pelicans

Dieng’s best game of the season came in a 120-102 win over the Pelicans. Dieng finished with a season-high 19 points to go with six rebounds, five assists and four steals while shooting 8-for-13 from the field and 2-for-2 from the free-throw line.

Top Offseason Objectives

One thing that’s been fun to watch throughout his career is watching Dieng’s range extend. As a rookie, he was a player who was right by the basket. But slowly, Dieng has become nearly automatic at the midrange jumper. The next step for Dieng is getting that range to the 3-point line. We’ve seen signs of it over the last two seasons. Dieng shot 27 3-pointers in his first three seasons combined and has shot 104 in the last two, including 61 last season. It appears the skill is there for Dieng, especially from the corner. Dieng shot 19-for-61 on 3-pointers in 2017-18, hitting at a 31.1 percent clip. Not a great mark, but for a player who shot six 3-pointers in his second season, this is significant, especially for where the NBA is heading.

Role for 2018-19

Dieng is a rotational big man in the league and can add sparks of offense and rebounding to a second unit. Dieng went through plenty of learning moments throughout the 2017-18 season, understandably with his role changing, but it should only make Dieng better for the future.

They Said It…

“I always had it in my mind that one day, when I got the chance, I would help my country,” – Deing, who is also the founder of the Gorgui Dieng Foundation, on his role in giving back to Senegal.

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