3 Things Gorgui Dieng provides the San Antonio Spurs

Gorgui Dieng (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/ Getty Images)

At the very least, the San Antonio Spurs’ latest acquisition won’t be able to torch them anymore. In the last two meetings between the Spurs and Memphis Grizzlies, Gorgui Dieng shot 12-of-17 overall and 5-of-6 from downtown to score 34 points while pulling down 16 boards. The result was a pair of blowout losses by the Spurs.

Now, Dieng is expected to sign with the Spurs after the team announced it has waived Marquese Chriss to create the necessary roster spot. The 6-10 center from Senegal is now in his eighth year in the league and was playing well for Memphis. However, he wasn’t likely to see much more of the court with Memphis’s already crowded frontcourt soon expected to grow with Jaren Jackson Jr’s return.

Picking up the 31-year-old was a smart move by a Spurs team that still has plenty of areas to improve as they look to secure a playoff seed in the Western Conference. Here are three things the veteran big man can bring to Gregg Popovich and the Spurs.

1. The San Antonio Spurs get a big man that can space the floor

The emergence of Jakob Poeltl defensively ultimately sealed the deal on taking Aldridge’s starting spot, which eventually led to his buyout and recent commitment to signing with the Brooklyn Nets. Still, Poeltl can often find himself in foul trouble, leaving the Spurs with Drew Eubanks getting extended minutes.

Eubanks has played well enough in his role, but he suffers from the same deficiency offensively as Poeltl. Both are excellent finishers but don’t have much to offer short of attempts in the paint.

Gorgui Dieng is a career 36 percent shooter from the 3-point line and was having a career year in Memphis in his 22 games played this season. Dieng knocked down 23 of 48 attempts for an astounding 48 percent mark with the Grizzlies. Unfortunately, 26 percent of those made threes were against the Spurs in their three-game series.

Now, he’ll be in the Silver and Black, hopefully continuing to hit open threes to help create space for the multitude of slashers the Spurs now have. As a bonus? He can hit free throws too.

The Spurs suddenly should have more court space to work with as Dieng continues to fire away, and he won’t be a liability at the free throw line.


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