The Minnesota Timberwolves continue to do their due diligence in free agency, with the latest news being that free agent guard Alexey Shved is in town for a visit and has now agreed to a contract. A report came out last week saying Shved was coming to the United States for visits with multiple teams, with the Memphis Grizzlies and Cleveland Cavaliers also reported to be showing interest in him. Terms of the deal have not been disclosed.
Shved, who is 23 years old, has been on the NBA radar for awhile now but he has spent his entire professional career up to this point playing in Russia, his home country. He has the height (6’6″) of an NBA shooting guard, but as is the case with many European players he would need to add strength to hold up defensively at that position. Shved’s overall offensive skills would allow him to be a point guard as well, so he could play some valuable minutes there to fill the void early in the season while Ricky Rubio recovers from last season’s ACL tear. Scouting reports have compared Shved to current NBA guard Goran Dragic, who recently agreed to a four-year, $34 million free agent deal with the Phoenix Suns after spending the past two seasons with the Houston Rockets.
Shved looks likely to be a valuable piece off the bench for the Timberwolves once the signing is officially announced, seeing time at both backcourt spots. His arrival may mean the end of the line in Minnesota for Wesley Johnson, who was the fourth overall pick in 2010 and has not proven to be a capable NBA player to this point. A lot depends on if the Timberwolves are able to secure free agent Nicolas Batum once they can officially sign him to an offer sheet on Wednesday. At that point, one way or the other, the dominoes in terms of other moves are likely to fall into place fairly quickly and the roster will begin to take shape.
In any case, curious Timberwolves fans can get a look at Shved in the upcoming Summer Olympics, since he is a member of the Russian national team.