LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Following a brief stint in the Peach State, former Louisville men’s basketball standout Gorgui Dieng is heading back to a familiar setting.
The free agent center has signed a one-year deal to return to the San Antonio Spurs, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania. The exact terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The 6-foot-10, 252-pound center spent the 2021-22 season with the Atlanta Hawks, although he had a minimal role, averaging only 3.5 points and 2.8 assists in 44 games. He had spent part of the 2020-21 season in San Antonio, being picked up by the Spurs after getting waived by the Memphis Grizzlies.
The native of Senegal was a mainstay in the lineup for the Minnesota Timberwolves to start his career, starting in 185 games during his first four years in the league. His best year came in 2016-17, when he started all 82 games, and averaged 10.0 points, 7.9 rebounds and 1.2 blocks.
However, Dieng started in just 19 games over his final two and a half seasons in Minnesota, with the organization opting to go with a starting frontcourt of Karl-Anthony Towns and Taj Gibson. He was traded to the Grizzlies by the T-Wolves midway through the 2019-20 season.
In 597 career NBA games and 208 starts, Dieng is averaging 7.5 points, 5.7 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 0.9 blocks per game, while also shooting 50.0 percent from the field.
Dieng declared for the 2013 NBA Draft after his junior year at Louisville, and was drafted with the No. 21 overall pick by the Utah Jazz, only to be traded to the Timberwolves on draft night.
During his junior campaign with the Cardinals, Dieng averaged 9.8 points, 9.4 rebounds and 2.5 blocks per game. He was named First Team All-Big East, the Big East Defensive Player of the Year, and was an integral part of the Cardinals' 2013 national championship.
(Photo of Gorgui Dieng: Daniel Dunn - USA TODAY Sports)
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