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Gorgui Dieng, Timberwolves agree to 4-year, $64 million contract extension

That’s a good price for a quality big man who can still improve.

NBA: Preseason-Memphis Grizzlies at Minnesota Timberwolves Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Timberwolves are expected to sign center Gorgui Dieng to a four-year, $64 million contract extension, according to ESPN’s Marc Spears. The deal will keep Dieng under contract through the 2020-21 season.

Dieng, the No. 21 pick in the 2013 NBA Draft, has steadily improved in three-plus years with the Timberwolves. The 26-year-old big man solidified a starting spot next to Karl-Anthony Towns last season, averaging 10 points, seven rebounds, and a blocked shot per game. He’s notched a double-double in both of the Timberwolves’ two games this season.

Dieng’s presence in the middle allows Towns to play power forward, where he doesn’t need to absorb as much pounding on a night-to-night basis. Though he lacks a three-point shot, Dieng is money from mid-range and has excellent court sense to space the floor properly and deliver excellent passes on the pick-and-roll.

Sixteen million per season may seem like a lot, but it’s the same deal that older centers Ian Mahinmi and Timofey Mozgov received last summer. Dieng has shown more promise than either player and he’s four years younger. Timberwolves fans seem happy with the deal.