The Minnesota Timberwolves and forward Gorgui Dieng agreed to a four-year, $62.8 million contract extension.
Dieng, 26, has emerged as part of Minnesota’s young core alongside Andrew Wiggins, Karl-Anthony Towns and Zach LaVine. In two games this season, Dieng is averaging 13 points, 13.5 rebounds, two assists and 1.5 blocks.
The Timberwolves’ front office has had ongoing discussions with Dieng’s agent, Makhtar Ndiaye, over the past month but began to seriously exchange proposals in recent weeks. Both sides agreed to the deal Monday in Minneapolis, sources said.
Dieng, drafted 21st overall in 2013, was eligible for a rookie extension until midnight ET on Tuesday.
Dieng has developed into a skilled and reliable presence on both ends of the floor, with an improving midrange jump shot and strong rebounding instincts. For Timberwolves president and coach Tom Thibodeau, Dieng’s progress could lead him to become a fourth option on a roster that will need to retain Wiggins, LaVine and Towns in the years to come.
Dieng had three standout seasons at Louisville, where he helped lead the Cardinals to the 2013 NCAA championship as a junior. His rise began in Senegal, a success story of the Sports for Education and Economic Development Academy and Basketball Without Borders program in South Africa in 2009.
More NBA coverage from The Vertical: