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NBA Draft 2013: Minnesota Timberwolves select Gorgui Dieng

Dieng heads to Minnesota looking to become a defensive stopper alongside Kevin Love.

USA TODAY Sports

Louisville center Gorgui Dieng has been selected by the Minnesota Timberwolves with the No. 21 pick in the 2013 NBA Draft.

More Wolves coverage: Canis Hoopus


The Timberwolves acquired the No. 21 pick earlier on draft night after dealing Trey Burke, who they selected with the ninth pick, to the Utah Jazz. They also added the 14th overall pick, which they used on Shabazz Muhammad.

Dieng played three seasons at Louisville and was an integral part in the Cardinals' title run this past year. The 6'11 center anchored the nation's top defense, blocking 2.5 shots per game and altering many others with his nearly 7'4 wingspan. Dieng is a solid athlete with good mobility and a strong motor, which further helps him on defense and the boards. He averaged 9.4 rebounds on the season.

Dieng displayed an improved offensive game over the course of the year, especially in the 2013 NCAA Tournament. He's still a bit raw on that end, but he has shown the ability to consistently hit spot-up jumpers off the pick-and-roll, which is a valuable trait for a big man in the NBA. The fact that Dieng is already 23 years old may limit his perceived upside, but there's still plenty of reasons to be optimistic about his NBA future.

Dieng is still raw as a prospect, but he's a solid athlete and quality passer. His offensive game remains a work in progress, but given his defensive abilities, he should be able to see some early playing time alongside Kevin Love in the paint.

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