UPDATE: This trade is now official. See this story for more details.
The Timberwolves and Grizzlies have agreed to a trade that will send forward James Johnson to Minnesota and big man Gorgui Dieng to Memphis, according to Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic (Twitter link).
Johnson is technically still a member of the Heat but is being traded to Memphis in the six-player Andre Iguodala trade. The Dieng deal with the Wolves may be folded into that transaction to make it a three-team trade, tweets ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
As Chris Herrington of The Daily Memphian observes (via Twitter), swapping Johnson for Dieng will add a little more salary to Memphis’ books this season and next year, but the Grizzlies view the big man as a better fit on their depth chart.
Dieng, who is under contract for $16.23MM in 2019/20 and $17.29MM in 2020/21, has averaged 7.4 PPG and 5.6 RPG in 46 games (16.9 MPG). He was particularly effective during Karl-Anthony Towns‘ injury absence, posting 12.9 PPG and 8.9 RPG on .463/.409/.806 shooting in 15 starts during that time.
Johnson is making approximately $15.34MM this season and holds a $16MM option for next season. By trimming more payroll, the Tiimberwolves will be just $1.1MM above the luxury tax line with this move, Bobby Marks of ESPN tweets.
Both teams have been extremely active prior to the deadline, as Minnesota was also part of four-team blockbuster that landed it D’Angelo Russell.