Timberwolves big man Gorgui Dieng vows not to get complacent after agreeing to a four-year, $62.8MM extension, Cody Taylor of Basketball Insiders reports. “You can get a contract, but you gotta earn it,” Dieng told Taylor. “I want to show that I’m worth every penny and I’m gonna try the best I can to help this team get better and myself.” Despite the team’s slow start, Dieng is averaging 10.4 points, 8.3 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 1.7 blocks and 1.1 steals per game.
In other news around the Western Conference:
- Jared Dudley has been moved to the Suns’ second unit to give it an offensive boost, Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic relays. Phoenix has placed rookie Marquese Chriss into the starting five at power forward. Dudley was expecting to be a starter until about midseason, when either Chriss or fellow rookie Dragan Bender would take that spot, but coach Earl Watson felt he needed to make a switch much earlier because the reserves were getting dominated, Coro adds. “The second-unit was suffering, especially we need to get B-Knight (Brandon Knight) going, and he’s such a huge part of us,” Dudley told Coro.
- Mavs center Andrew Bogut has no problem with playing more minutes this season, Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News reports. Bogut is averaging nearly 26 minutes, an uptick from the 20 minutes he typically played for the Warriors last season. “Yeah, a good number for me is around 30,” Bogut told Sefko. “I didn’t play that the last couple of seasons, obviously. But in Milwaukee I was playing high 30s, low 40s. That’s probably a bit too much. But I’m comfortable around 30.”
- Blake Griffin isn’t being wooed by his friends to return to his hometown and join the Thunder next season, according to Andrew Han of ESPN.com. The Clippers power forward becomes an unrestricted free agent in July. “They know that my main focus is this season and this team,” Griffin told Han and other writers. “And they know that I enjoy playing here and I love this team, coaching staff, everybody. So they know that that’s my main focus. So I think they pretty much know not to bring that up.”