Continuing to focus on the Timberwolves’ 2013 draft results, this week’s VOTW takes a look at the 21st pick in the draft, Gorgui Dieng. Similar to our VOTW featuring Shabazz Muhammad, we are going with an upload from Draft Express. However, rather than using their full preview for Dieng, I thought this video was pretty fascinating.
On June 1st, Gorgui Dieng held a pre-draft workout for teams. As an added bonus, you will see/notice that Brian Scalabrine and Will Perdue helped with the workout. (The lesson here is that you can never pass on a VOTW that includes Brian Scalabrine.) Draft Express uses Dieng’s interview as a voiceover while showing the highlights from the workout. His answers to questions caught my attention, as everything Dieng said felt like the right answer and came off very professionally. He said he didn’t care if he was drafted in the lottery or in the second round and that he was just looking forward to playing in the NBA and learning.
As for the workout itself, you get a feel for what Dieng may bring to the table on the offensive end – a few moves around the post and the ability to hit an open jumper from time to time. What we don’t see here is probably the most important element of Dieng’s game, at least specifically for the Timberwolves. Let’s assume that Nikola Pekovic returns to the team in the coming weeks (given his RFA status) for the sake of this write-up. Dieng will likely be the backup Center for the team and his role will need to be “defensive stalwart” for the second unit.
If you take a look at other videos of Dieng (like this one), you will find a lot of defensive highlights for the Center from Louisville. That is exactly what the Wolves need from him, to come in and protect the rim. The ‘13/’14 Wolves team shouldn’t struggle to score points, but it does need a few willing and able bodies to shut down the opposition and Dieng will need to be one of those players. Anything that he provides on the offensive end is just gravy.
Enjoy the VOTW! Here is some more background reading on Gorgui Dieng for those interested.