The Minnesota Timberwolves are a team built for the future with a talented young core of Karl-Anthony Towns, Zach LaVine and Andrew Wiggins. But while those three are the stars of the team, Timberwolves center Gorgui Dieng is also part of that core, doing the little things like rebounding and playing defense, that help Minnesota.

Dieng has also improved in each of his three years with the Timberwolves. And in a sign that they believe he will only continue to improve, Minnesota has reportedly agreed to give Dieng a four-year, $64 million contract extension.

A deal worth $16 million per year may seem like an overpay for a role player like Dieng but that is just the going rate these days. Ian Mahinmi and Timofey Mozgov received similar deals in free agency this summer and they are both older than Dieng.

Dieng is 27 and will be 31 at the end of this extension. So age-wise, he doesn’t quite fit with the developing young core of the Wolves. But Dieng fills a vital role for the Timberwolves. Dieng plays center, allowing Towns to thrive at power forward. Also, Dieng is a good midrange shooter, fine passer and solid rim protector. Last season, Dieng averaged 10.1 points, 7.1 rebounds and a 1.2 blocks.

The Timberwolves are a team poised to be a force in the future and with this extension, it seems like Dieng will play a role in helping Minnesota vie for the postseason for the next several years.


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