Wednesday, July 11, 2012
Video - Rubio's Recovery and Meeting Alexey Shved
Not much happening in the sports world right now. The MLB is on All-Star break, which is a yawner, the Olympics are yet to start, the WNBA is in the middle of its season and outside of Minnesota, I am not sure anyone cares about that (sorry WNBA...). What I am left with as a fan is following the NBA off-season movement. For the Wolves, they have acquired Brandon Roy and Alexey Shved in free agency and acquired Chase Budinger by trade so far this off-season.
There are many other moves that are rumored to be happening right now for the Pups. Nic Batum may or may not be offered a 4 year $45-50 million dollar contract today, or may or may not be signed and traded to the Wolves from Portland. Derrick Williams may never suit up as a Wolf again as he is rumored to be involved in that sign and trade and other trade possibilities. Kyle Korver's name has been thrown into the mix as a possible trade acquisition, but he may only be bought out then by the Wolves to create cap space for future moves. It is all very confusing, and Pau Gasol's name never seems to be far from the conversation.
All of those moves will be looking to make the Wolves a playoff contender next year. A HUGE piece of that puzzle will be the recovery of Ricky Rubio and his torn ACL. March 9th is when it went pop, and the NBA season will start in late October which is over seven months after his injury. Can Rubio recover in time to start the season with the Wolves? It's a huge question mark, and even if he isn't that's not a huge deal, but the Wolves will need him to play the majority of the season at close to 100% in order to reach their potential with whatever pieces end up coming in.
Here is a video of Rubio in his recovery -
Rubio says it is a 6-9 month process. So if it is on the short side, he'll be pretty much ready. If it is on the long side, that will be pretty deep into the NBA season prior to getting him back.
If only there was a Russian PG/SG that could come in and take some of the pressure off of Rubio rushing back and help the Wolves stay afloat while Rubio is out.
Enter Alexey Shved, a 6-6 SG that can play the PG position as well.
Check out this video of Shved, if like myself and 99% of the basketball world you likely have never seen him before. So here you go -
Have to like what you see with Shved. He has the size and skills that will allow him to be used in a variety of ways, from point guard to shooting guard to even at times playing some small forward. Shved comes in with a more polished jump shot, which is key especially when Rubio returns and Shved plays on the wing with Ricky. We all saw that even if Rubio works the offense to get you wide open and then delivers the ball on time, you still need to make the shot for that to be a success (looking right at you Wes and Martell...).
The Wolves in two free agent signings have gone from nobody at SG to being two deep. Roy and Shved are likely going to be the one-two punch at that position when the team if fully healthy. The potential is there for greatness from both, at the same time there is potential for a complete bust. Rubio in many ways was the exception of many Euro players coming over and being successful from day one. Shved will have to adjust to the NBA and quick as the current roster and rumored future moves will mean that he will have a pretty large role come game 1. As for Roy, he is coming back from retirement. Obviously he feels his knees will be able to take the punishment, but it is a crap shoot. If Roy goes down and Shved struggles, the Wolves are back to square one at SG and likely starting a PG like Ridnour in the position again. Don't be shocked if the Wolves get another SG on the roster prior to the start of the season to ensure they have yet another option in case things go wrong.
Looking ahead, tonight is a big night if you have been following the Nicolas Batum sweepstakes or battle between Portland and Minnesota. We should know more about that situation after 11:01 pm tonight if not sooner. Until then, keep your rumors close and your sources closer as the NBA off-season continues.