Unlike Rubio, the attention on the newest Timberwolf from overseas is anything but public. In fact, you will find Alexey Shved to be quite the mystery. An obscure figure in the basketball world, there is only so much information to be dug up on this Russian guard. His recent signing to the Timberwolves has unearthed some details of this skinny 23-year-old, but only playing time both in the Olympics and training camp this summer will prove what Shved can really bring to the court.
Here is what we do know- Alexey Shved is a combo guard, registered as a point guard but long and quick enough to cover shooting guards and even some small forwards. However, unlike many a NBA SG, Shved does not have a lot of muscle, or even meat for that matter on his bones- weighing in at only 161 lbs per DraftExpress. Although, what he lacks in strength he makes up in crafty and agile play, not unlike the other floppy-haired wolf. Danny Chau of Hardwood Paroxysm remarks, “He’s shifty, he’s quick, and he’s downright devilish in an open court.” Likely to come off the bench this season he seems suited to play Rubio’s role for the second unit with as much creativity and confidence as his Spanish counterpart.
That description gives you an idea of what he looks like on paper, but what about his ceiling in this league? Chau compared Shved to either Tim Hardaway or Shaun Livingston stating, “He’s not as freakishly explosive as Hardaway…but he still has the tools to become a good player; one that can make a difference on a team at the highest level of competition.” Other sources including Draft Express and Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News compare him to Goran Dragic with allegedly better passing ability. While impossible to determine Shved’s overall potential, it’s clear he has talent but will need to find a way to translate his skills into the NBA.
The question to ask ourselves now is does Shved’s signing affect other possible trades or free agent acquisitions this summer? Shved’s contract is rumored to be for about $9 million over 3 years, per Jerry Zgoda of the Minneapolis Star Tribune. These numbers should not conflict with a possible sign and trade of Batum presuming the Timberwolves still choose to let go of Martell Webster, Anthony Randolph and amnesty Darko Milicic. Still an issue worth considering is whether or not Shved’s signing alludes to the possible loss of Luke Ridnour or JJ Barea in a sign and trade scenario. Currently with Shved on the roster there are 5 point guards (Rubio, Ridnour, Barea, Lee and Shved). As signings for restricted and unrestricted free agents can begin at midnight tonight we will soon see who remains part of the Wolves’ future plans.
Tim Allen of Canis Hoopus says that “Adelman believes he fits well.” Wolves fans should take comfort in this as players like Budinger, Roy and now Shved prove that coach Adelman is building a system that plays towards the strengths of Love and Rubio. Shved seems like an excellent guard to come off the bench and spread the floor to create opportunities for other players, especially beyond the arc. Shved you be excited by that? I would say Да (Da).