Russian point guard Alexey Shved should wait another year before accepting any offers from NBA teams, the coach of the Russian national team said Tuesday.
Up to five U.S. teams are reportedly interested in Shved after a breakout season for CSKA Moscow, which he topped by scoring the decisive points to put the Russians into the Euroleague final at the expense of reigning champion Panathinaikos.
“I think it would do Alexey well to spend at least another year in Europe so he continues to develop and to gain experience and to get stronger and to widen out his game,” Russia coach David Blatt said.
Blatt compared Shved’s situation to that of Jeremy Pargo, whom he coached at Israeli team Maccabi Tel Aviv before Pargo moved to the Memphis Grizzlies in 2011 but failed to break into the team.
“I told him ‘You need to wait one more season, to be a lead player another year before you make the jump.’ He went, he didn’t play a minute the whole season, he didn’t even dress in the playoffs,” Blatt said.
Shved has the quality to be an NBA player, Blatt said.
“I do know this – he could play there.”
Shved’s Russia teammate Andrei Kirilenko moved in the opposite direction in 2011, moving from the Utah Jazz to CSKA during the NBA lockout before deciding not to return to the United States.
Kirilenko’s decision came as a surprise, Blatt said.
“I didn’t see it happen. I thought he would end up back in the NBA,” he said.
“Once he saw he that he was such a big part of the team, that he was happy in his environment and he was close to the team, he decided he wanted to stay and to finish what he started, which I thought was very admirable.”
Blatt added that Shved and Kirilenko are both likely to feature in Russia’s campaign at the Olympic basketball qualifying tournament in Venezuela in July.
Russia will be one of 12 teams fighting for a place in London, and will play South Korea and the Dominican Republic in its opening group stage matches.