The Minnesota Timberwolves made another big move on Tuesday in coming to terms with Russian guard Alexey Shved. While it likely won't be met with the same fanfare that the Brandon Roy signing was, it's still a very good one.
The Shved signing has been rumored for quite awhile, but Jon Krawczynski of the Associated Press was able to confirm it on Tuesday afternoon.
Wolves folks think Shved will fit perfectly working off ball screens in Adelman's offense.— Jon Krawczynski (@APkrawczynski) July 10, 2012
Shved is a 6-foot-5 guard who went undrafted a couple of seasons ago, but has reportedly improved quite a bit -- a nice thing, especially since he's still a rather young 23 years of age. The guys over at Draft Express were particularly high on him a couple of seasons ago:
Watching Shved play, it's tough not to be enamored with the terrific talent he displays, particularly his ability to play the pick-and-roll and operate in the open floor. He's got great size for either backcourt position at 6-5 and is an extremely fluid, creative player with the ability to create his own shot, which is rare for a European prospect. He has all the typical tricks you see from Euro-style slashers, relying heavily on timing, pace, change of speed and herky-jerky shakes and crossovers to get his man off balance, but he also has an extra gear he can go to to get by his man using either hand, particularly in transition.
In this regard, his style of play is very similar to the way Goran Dragic played for Phoenix this season. Shved is an even better passer, though. He instinctively makes smart, simple passes within the flow of the offense, but he can also wow you at times with his imagination and his ability to thread the needle and find the open man diving to the rim for an easy basket.
Shved has the ability to create shots for himself and his teammates, and he's capable of finishing lobs and transition plays above the rim, but he simply isn't strong enough to finish around the basket in traffic. Shved's frame is narrow and it hasn't seemed to improve much over the last few years. This creates a major problem for him because of the extremely physical league he plays in-the Russian league is one of the slowest-paced, most half-court oriented leagues in Europe.
Shved likely won't get big minutes early on in Minnesota unless Luke Ridnour or J.J. Barea is now traded in the wake of this signing, but he should be able to help out when does find himself on the court.