Timberwolves

Timberwolves Sign Gorgui Dieng to Contract Extension; Muhammad to Become RFA; Rubio Out Indefinitely

The Minnesota Timberwolves yesterday announced that the team has signed Gorgui Dieng to a contract extension. The 26 year old, fourth year player out of Louisville will receive $64 million over the next four seasons, according to the Undefeated’s Marc Spears.

Shortly after the Wolves had finished Tuesday’s shootaround, Dieng explained some of what was running through his mind as the two sides worked to finalize a deal before Monday’s 11:59 PM deadline. “I told coach last night, I said, ‘listen man, I’m not worried about this contract,” Dieng said.

“‘You guys want to get it done now, get it done. You goin’ to wait, you wait. As long as I’m playing, I’m happy.'”

Shortly thereafter, in what can only be described as incredibly genuine fashion, Dieng expressed that the increase in income does not detract from his desire to win.

“We need to find a way to win. (…) This is my fourth year, this is [Wiggins’] third year. Right now, we all need to focus on winning, and not think about the money. If you win, everything going to come nicely along. I wasn’t focused on the money at all. Was I thinking about it? Yes, but that wasn’t my main focus.”

 

“He embodies all of the things that we’re looking for,” Tom Thibodeau said of his starting center. “He’s had a very good start to his career, he continues to improve. He gets better and better but also, who he is as a person, his character, his intelligence, his drive, I think those things are important.”

Unlike Dieng, the Timberwolves did not extend Shabazz Muhammad.

Set to become a restricted free agent next summer, Muhammad must — and will — continue working to improve his game. Inevitably the business stuff will sort itself out.

“I’m still confident,” Muhammad assured. “Coach is still confident in me. My rights are still here. They have the opportunity to sign me. I love it here, and want to be here long term. So, we’ll see what goes down.”

Perhaps the situation is frustrating for Muhammad, if only because Minnesota is where he wants to be. Or, perhaps not.

The Timberwolves can keep him around by matching any offer he receives during the offseason. Time will tell whether that ultimately happens.


Ricky Rubio has been sidelined indefinitely due to a sprained right elbow, an injury he suffered during the fourth quarter of Saturday’s loss to Sacramento. Indefinitely means indefinitely, so, at this point, how much time Rubio will miss remains a mystery.

ESPN 1500’s Darren Wolfson and The AP’s Jon Krawczynski estimate that Rubio could return sometime over the next 2-3 weeks, if not sooner.

Rubio’s absence clears the way for Kris Dunn to take over at point guard. Yesterday, Timberwolves president-coach Tom Thibodeau was non-committal in regards to whether Dunn would take over as the starter, though he confirmed after Tuesday’s shootaround that it will, in fact, be Dunn.

Thibodeau did not say whether he intends to use Tyus Jones or John Lucas III, neither of which logged a single minute of playing time through the first two games, as Dunn’s backup.

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