ESPN: Gorgui Dieng
Vitals: Center, 23 years old, Louisville University, Junior, 6’11″.
Stats: 9.8 PPG, .534 FG%, .652 FT%, 9.4 RPG, 2.0 APG, 1.3 SPG, 2.5 BPG, 1.8 TO, 31 MPG.
As a 6’11 behemoth of a paint protector, Dieng can back up the slower, more offensively gifted Brook Lopez. Dieng anchored the defensive end of the Louisville team that marched through the NCAA Tournament this April and won the National Championship. Dieng is nimble on his feet for a big man, able to guard college guards on switches effortlessly, and can finish near the rim, but he suffers from a limited offensive game.
The Nets have already committed to working out Dieng, according to his agent.
Putting Dieng behind Lopez would allow Blatche to slide to PF permanently (again, if Blatche stays) without leaving Reggie Evans as the only serviceable player at center. As Ford notes, Dieng could potentially play aside Lopez in some situations, allowing Lopez to carry the offense and Dieng to protect the rim on defense.
Chad Ford of ESPN notes that he “should be able to play right away.” Drafting Dieng solves a big, manageable need for Brooklyn: back-up center. If Brooklyn is lucky enough that Dieng falls to 22nd, Billy King should snap him up.