Behind an absolutely crazy trade deadline that saw stars such as Goran Dragic,
Steve Novak, Brandon Knight, Michael Carter-Williams, and Isaiah Thomas change teams in the span of five minutes, the New York Knicks lone deal got lost in the shuffle.
New York sent away Argentinian point guard Pablo Prigioni to the Houston Rockets, in exchange for two second round draft picks and Russian two-guard Alexey Shved. Shved was acquired in order to make the salaries match, but he still is an intriguing prospect for New York to look at.
Shved was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Minnesota Timberwolves in 2010, but did not come to the NBA until 2012. He put up respectable numbers for a rookie in 2012, scoring 8.6 points per game to go along with 3.7 assists per game, 2.3 rebounds per game, and .7 steals per game in 23.9 minutes per game.
After a dreadful 2013 in which his numbers regressed to 4 points per game on 32% shooting, Shved was dealt to the Philadelphia 76ers. He was solid in 17 games, scoring 9.9 points per game on 40% shooting in 16.8 minutes per game, before being dealt to the Rockets where he road the pine for most of his tenure there.
Shved, now a Knick, should get a decent amount of playing time. Ever since J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert were traded, the Knicks have been incredibly thin at shooting guard. Shved, Tim Hardaway Jr., and Langston Galloway should split time at the two-guard spot for the last 28 games.
Since this season is long gone for the Knicks, giving Shved ample playing time could be beneficial. Shved has a team option for next year, in which he is owed $3.8 million. After that, he is a restricted free agent. While the focus has been finding a starting five to compliment Melo next season, having bench contributors is still crucial and Shved could be a player they keep around.
A wrinkle in his game, though, that could hinder him in the triangle offense is his shooting ability. Over his career, Shved is a 36.3% shooter overall, and 29.6% from the three point arc. Playing in a system that relies so heavily on a guards ability to shoot, Shved may not be a very good fit.
However something helping him is his size. Phil Jackson has always preferred taller guards, and Shved stands at 6’6′. Shved can play some point guard, so his size would put him as one of the tallest point guards in the league.
One rumor that has arisen is that Shved may not even be in the NBA next year. Rumblings have surfaced that say that Shved may abandon the NBA and return to his home country, Russia. Not many players want to play for the Knicks at this point either so that could motivate him further.
Whether or not Shved sticks around for the Knicks next year is largely reliant on how he finishes this season. With the Knicks all in on creating as much cap room as possible, Shved will have to work hard to earn his $3.8 million team option for next year.