The Minnesota Timberwolves over the past few years have tried to figure out the Russian player Alexey Shved, but it just has not worked. Shved was a good player and great shooter in his time in the Russian professional basketball league and in international play for his country, but he just can’t produce the same results for the Timberwolves.
The Timberwolves brought in Shved two years ago to be a three point threat and rotational guard. In the first half of his rookie campaign, he looked great, slashing at the basket and hitting deep threes like he had been in the NBA for years. Then the second half of the season came and something happened to Shved.
All of sudden, Shved’s season went up in flames. The second half of that season, if he had shot into the ocean it wouldn’t have hit the water. For whatever reason, Shved’s shooting was in a slump, and the problem was compounded as Shved tried to make up for this by taking more risks with the ball, so he was also committing more turnovers.
In the 2013-2014 season, second half Shved was again back for the Minnesota Timberwolves. His play continued to be terrible, he just wasn’t confident on the court and it was evident in his play. Shved got less and less playing time and when he did get on the court, his best play was when he wasn’t shooting the ball. It was frustrating to watch, as I could tell he was trying as hard as he could, but it just wasn’t working for him, which caused him to get more down on himself.
Now for this season, the question is what do the Timberwolves do with Shved? I still think Shved has the talent to be a good role player for any NBA team, but I don’t think the Timberwolves are the best team for him. Shved can play point guard and shooting guard, which happens to be the two positions where the Timberwolves have too many options. With Ricky Rubio, Zach LaVine, Mo Williams and Kevin Martin all guaranteed to get playing time, there isn’t much time left for Shved to improve his game against real opponents.
A report recently came out that David Blatt, the new head coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers, is interested in getting Shved. In my opinion this would be a good move for the Timberwolves and Shved. Blatt is the Russian national team coach so he already knows Shved and can communicate with Shved in Shved’s native tongue. Also, after the Wiggins trade goes through, the Cavaliers need some more depth at point guard and shooting guard, so Shved would have a better chance to get minutes in that rotation.
I hope that Shved gets moved to Cleveland. I think a change of scenery could help him get out of the perpetual mental funk he seems to be in on the basketball court. For the Timberwolves, this would also be a good move as they would have more money to work with and would have another roster spot to add a player they can actually use, so in my opinion the best move for both Shved and the Timberwolves is for the two to separate and move on.