New Minnesota Timberwolves signing Alexey Shved has the skills to succeed as an NBA guard but needs to bulk up to cope with the league’s physical demands, his former CSKA Moscow coach Ettore Messina has told R-Sport in an interview.
Messina, who spent last season on Los Angeles Lakers coach Mike Brown’s staff, coached Shved when he first broke into the CSKA team, and has now returned to the 19-time Russian champion team.
“Alexey has for sure the talent to play there. He’s probably at a good age to go there. I think they will ask him to use his creativity on the floor,” Messina said.
“I think they will ask him to use his creativity on the floor. At the same time, I think they will ask him to become stronger physically because contact is a very big factor in the NBA.”
“If he manages to, let’s say, play through the high level of contact that there is in the NBA, for sure he has the talent to be a very, very interesting player at that level.”
Shved, who signed for the Timberwolves in July on a three-year, $9.45 million deal, was part of the Russia team that won bronze at the London Olympics last month, the country’s first Olympic success.