Year-Round News & Updates on the Minnesota Timberwolves
Gorgui Dieng was named to the All-Rookie Second Team on Thursday afternoon after a very successful season for the first-year big man.
Gorgui Dieng received 21 first place points, which is more than any other rookie on the Second Team. He was beat out in the First Team by Philadelphia’s Michael Carter-Williams, Orlando’s Victor Oladipo, Brooklyn’s Mason Plumlee, New York’s Tim Hardaway Jr. and Utah’s Trey Burke.
Dieng was joined on the Second Team by Boston’s Kelly Olynyk, Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo, Charlotte’s Cody Zeller and Oklahoma City’s Steven Adams.
With Nikola Pekovic nursing bursitis in his ankle, Dieng started 15 of Minnesota’s final 18 games averaging 12 points, 11.3 rebounds and 1.5 blocks during that stretch. On the season he averaged 4.8 points on 49.8% FG and 5 rebounds in 60 games (15 starts).
There were more rookies picked in the 20s (Dieng, Hardaway & Plumlee) that made All-Rookie teams than in the Top 8 (Oladipo & Zeller) in this year’s draft class.
Gorgui Dieng could very well end up being one of the best picks in the 2014 NBA Draft. While Dieng’s future is bright, this could be one of the weakest draft classes in recent memory.
As the Wolves move into the 2014-15 NBA season, Dieng’s role will be a very intriguing headline. If he plays anywhere near the level he showed in the last month-and-a-half of the season, he’ll have an important role in 14-15.
Rick Adelman's days of roaming the sidelines are over as the 23-year veteran called it a career shortly after the Timberwolves finished 40-42 in 2013-14 and out of the playoffs for a tenth-consecutive season.
Adelman is gone, but he brought respectability to a franchise that has had little to none since KG departed via trade to Boston seven years ago.
The assumption would be that coaching candidates should be lining up to coach a team that is clearly on the cusp of playoff basketball. However, with the extremely murky future of Kevin Love, the big name coaches are making it clear--Minnesota isn't a real option.
That was the case for Stan Van Gundy who recently accepted a job with the Detroit Pistons as their head coach and President of Basketball Operations. Steve Kerr was a highly sought after candidate by multiple teams and he landed in Golden State to elevate Stephen Curry & Co. to the next level.
Flip Saunders has conducted his coaching search in a cloak of secrecy. That being said, there do seem to be two front runners for Minnesota's next head coach.
Former Wolf Sam Mitchell is one of the top contenders. The former 2007 Coach of the Year spent two different stints with the Timberwolves as a player. Mitchell is thought to be a favorite of Owner Glen Taylor.
The other is Staples, Minnesota native and current Memphis head coach Dave Joerger. The Grizzlies are a front office/coaching staff in disarray and reports came out Wednesday afternoon that Joerger wants out...and apparently the feeling is mutual from the Memphis front office. Joerger is a long-time associate of Flip Saunders and is thought to be the favorite for Saunders. If the Wolves were to choose Joerger as their next head coach, the compensation to the Grizzlies would likely be a second-round pick in the upcoming draft (of which the Wolves own three, second-round picks).
Joerger coached the Memphis Grizzlies to a 50-win season in 2013-14. The draw of coaching his hometown Wolves under the direction of his long-time friend Flip Saunders is clearly a big draw for Joerger and with the reshuffling and turmoil in the Memphis Grizzlies the past two seasons, the thinking seems to be that he would welcome a change of scenery as much as the Grizzlies would like to give him one.
Joerger likes a run & gun offense which plays right into the way Ricky Rubio likes to operate. He'll also demand defense, something that has been sorely lacking under Rick Adelman's direction these past few seasons.
Without a doubt, Joerger is at the top of Minnesota's coaching candidates and if his interview (slated for sometime Thursday 5/22) goes well, he'll be the next head coach of the Minnesota Timberwolves.
A TWolves fan, bringing you the daily updates.