It's hard to hide a 6'10" NBA center but the Memphis Grizzlies may have found a way to find yet another hidden gem. Newly acquired big-man Gorgui Dieng made his presence felt in his debut game with the Grizzlies and might just be what the team needs for the final stretch of games after the All-Star break.
Dieng was, of course, a part of the three-team deal that sent Andre Iguodala, Jae Crowder and Solomon Hill to Miami, James Johnson to Minnesota and Justise Winslow and Dieng to Memphis.
My Thoughts On Gorgui Dieng
Dieng was originally the Minnesota Timberwolves plan for the future at the center position but since the drafting and emergence of Karl-Anthony Towns as one of the league's best bigs, Dieng has become growingly expendable. He also has had a hefty contract that the Wolves have tried to move on several occasions.
The center position is one that is definitely in transition and Dieng had made great strides to adapt to the trend all while finding a way to maintain what has made him one of the best backup centers in the league. So far this season he is shooting 38.2 percent from three on 2.6 attempts per game as opposed to 33.9 percent on just 0.7 attempts per game the year before. Dieng is still a threat to score under the basket and is an elite level rim protector.
I think that Dieng will be a great asset to the team and is coming at the perfect time. I'm a hard sell for a traditional big man in today's NBA but Dieng is among the best. His ability to knock down three-point shots, score in the paint, rebound and block shots is a tremendous asset and it also allows Jaren Jackson Jr. to play fewer minutes at the center position. Dieng can help spell minutes for Jonas Valanciunas and avoid some of the mismatches that the team has against certain teams.
As the Grizzlies approach the closing months of the season and possibly the playoffs, I believe that Dieng can help the team tremendously. He was a quiet addition to the team but one that I see making a lot of noise.
Gorgui Dieng Interview