Alexey Shved is entering his second season in the league. As a rookie, he displayed some bad habits, but he also showed some flashes of the skill that took him from Russia to the NBA. It was easy to count his mediocre play last year as rookie jitters or an adjustment period and focus on the positives, but Shved has looked terrible so far this year. The Minnesota Timberwolves were looking for Shved to step up this year, as he was one of their first players off the bench last year, even starting 16 games. So far, however, he’s barely played, and that won’t change unless he returns to form.
Shved was a poor shooter last year, converting just 37.2 percent of his shots. This year, he has somehow gotten worse and is shooting a ridiculous 20 percent from the field over the first five games. While there is no way he’ll be this bad all season, if he doesn’t improve soon, his chances may soon run out. Last year, Shved was sixth on the Wolves in minutes played, but that will change this year with a retooled lineup. While the team realizes Shved is still a young player with plenty of room to grow, they also have a chance at winning now, and can’t afford to give an under-performing sophomore heavy minutes.
In the games he started last year, Shved produced at a good enough clip, and he may just be rusty after the offseason. Shved has an intriguing group of skills as tall, long combo guard. He plays well enough defensively and is a good passer. If he can improve on his dismal shooting numbers and get his three point percentage to at least the league average, he could easily be the Timberwolves’ third guard. Otherwise, he’ll be lost at the end of the bench with few opportunities to play.