The last time the Minnesota Timberwolves had PF/C Gorgui Dieng on the roster, the team had just traded Jimmy Butler to the Philadephia 76ers, and the team was trying to sort out a solid lineup and rotation. He was eventually traded by the Timberwolves on February 6, 2020, as part of a three-team deal.
There have been a few NBA seasons passed since that event. But here we are, with a Timberwolves roster that remains a bit shaky due to continued prolonged injuries to the team’s front court. And the Timberwolves would be wise to at least kick the tires on the guy.
Dieng is a 10-year NBA veteran, a versatile front-court option for either power forward or center. And it’s that versatility that makes him an intriguing option for the Timberwolves. After all, we know that the Timberwolves have sailed through the choppy waters by calling all hands on deck. That includes 6-foot-8 205-pound rookie power forward Josh Minott, as well as both Two-Way Contract players: 6-foot-6 215-pound small forward/power forward Matt Ryan as well as 6-foot-10 243-pound center Luka Garza.
Frontcourt help from a familiar face
Of the lot, it has been Luka Garza who has truly stepped up and helped to lift the Timberwolves to remain undefeated in the calendar year of 2023. While that is very positive news, the Timberwolves should pause and consider other options as well. The unexpected projected availability of Dieng is one such option:
The Boston Celtics are trading C/F Noah Vonleh and cash consideration to the San Antonio Spurs, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium. The Spurs will waive Gorgui Dieng to create roster space, sources said.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) January 5, 2023
What could Dieng bring to the Timberwolves that makes him worth the effort? Well, with the exception of this season’s run with the San Antonio Spurs, Dieng has been a solid contributor in a rotational role on both offense and defense. He has a history with the Timberwolves, which means that he has played with Karl-Anthony Towns, D’Angelo Russell, Naz Reid, and even Jordan McLaughlin. And a Timberwolves free agency signing of Dieng has more worth than just familiarity.
The Timberwolves could bring on Dieng merely as a stopgap measure until the Timberwolves get all of their players back to health. And with the window now open for 10-day contracts, that seems to make sense. But who will the Timberwolves part ways with to create the roster opening to add Dieng?
We will definitely be discussing that in the days to come. For now, even after the return of Taurean Prince, the Timberwolves’ frontcourt remains short-handed. Dieng could help reinforce the Timberwolves roster now. And who knows? If he pans out, he could be a mid-season addition to help the team make a playoff run.