(Photo of Gorgui Dieng: Daniel Dunn - USA TODAY Sports)
ATLANTA - On the first day of free agency in the 2021 NBA offseason, former Louisville men's basketball standout Gorgui Dieng has signed with the Atlanta Hawks, according to The Athletic’s Jon Krawczynski. It is a one-year deal reportedly worth $4 million.
The 6-foot-10, 252-pound center spent the 2020-21 with two different teams. In late March, he was waived by Memphis Grizzles, then signed with the San Antonio Spurs a few days later. In 38 games between both teams, Dieng averaged 6.8 points, 3.7 rebounds and 1.3 assists per game.
Midway through the 2019-20 season, Dieng was traded to the Grizzlies by the Minnesota Timberwolves, where he had spent the previous six and a half seasons.
The native of Senegal was a mainstay in the lineup for the T-Wolves 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. In 553 career NBA games and 205 starts, he is averaging 7.8 points, 6.0 rebounds, 1.0 assist and 0.9 blocks.
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.
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