Welcome to the second annual #TwolfRank. It’s one of our favorite times of the year, to say the least. Here is the first installment in the series. As always, you can follow Jonah (@howlintwolf) Derek (@DerekJamesNBA) and Tom (@Tom_NBA) on Twitter as well to partake in the fun.
Gorgui Dieng is ranked this low because, well, he isn’t expected to be making meaningful contributions to this team this season. And with the way this roster is built, that’s just fine, but the future is certainly what matters as far as Dieng goes. Really, this isn’t a bad thing, and although the Timberwolves are hard up for depth behind Nikola Pekovic, they will survive a 2-3 developmental years for Dieng.
At 6’11 and 245 pounds, he has the tools to matter someday. In college, he excelled in offensive efficiency, defensively ability, and on the boards, so he has the ability to become Pekovic’s backup someday as long as he develops properly. I mean, he may not be ready today, but there’s a reason the team invested a first round pick in the guy.
Until Dieng is ready, the Timberwolves will continue to feed themselves on short term deals for journeymen centers to solidify the backup center position. Perhaps a stint in the D-League, which Flip Saunders is a major proponent of, would benefit Dieng better than watching Pekovic and Ronnie Turiaf play ahead of him. Because no team with serious playoff expectations ever really gives a developing center major burn– those things just don’t go together.
What’s encouraging is that Dieng was still the same efficient player he was in college from the field and at the line during summer league, despite averaging 3.5 fouls and 2.2 turnovers in 15 minutes per game. But that’s what young players are supposed to do in places like summer league. Landing in Minnesota as a whole will be great for him because he can be brought along slowly instead of being thrown right into the wolves (excuse me.)
For now, Dieng is number 14 — last — but the idea is that he eventually ascends at least a few slots higher.
@DerekJamesNBA Dieng is pretty raw IMO and won’t contribute immediately. PROS: great attitude, smart player, rim protector, nice elbow J.
— John Meyer (@thedailywolf) August 23, 2013
@DerekJamesNBA He’s the kind of player whose college fans will follow him for life. That’s a good sign, long-term (not a guarantee).
— Wizard of Shabazz (@Dark_aardvark) August 23, 2013
@OmidFerdowsi: @DerekJamesNBA I think he has the skill set to be like Ibaka. I see a lot of upside for him on both ends of the floor.
Want to take part? Look for one of us to tweet out who the next player will be and tweet us your thoughts on him using the #TwolfRank hashtag and we’ll throw your tweet in the post.