Shved Named To Rising Stars Challenge

Mark Remme
Wolves Editor/Writer

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Timberwolves guard Alexey Shved has been lauded by teammates all season for his fearless approach to the game and his ability to make plays both as a facilitator and a scorer. Today, the rookie was rewarded for his efforts by the NBA.

Alexey Shved has been selected to play in the 2013 BBVA Rising Stars Challenge on Friday, Feb. 15 at the Toyota Center in Houston. The game will tip-off at 8:00 p.m. (CST) and will be broadcast live on TNT.

Shved has quickly become a fan favorite thanks to his play on the court. Originally not drafted by an NBA franchise, Shved is on pace to become the first undrafted player to average 10.0 points and 4.0 assists in his rookie season in over 50 years. Shved also became the first undrafted player to record a point/assist double-double in his rookie season since Sarunas Jasikevicius' 14- point, 11-assist performance on March 1, 2006.

Fellow guard J.J. Barea continues to praise Shved for his transition to the NBA game as he transitions from playing professionally in Europe. He said at Wednesday morning’s shootaround that Shved “should be there.”

“Just how confident and how mature he is for being a rookie in this game,” Barea said. “He knows what he’s good at, and he’s taking advantage of it.”

The Wolves sent Shved’s teammates Derrick Williams and Ricky Rubio to the Rising Stars Challenge last year. The two got the opportunity to participate along with the best rookies and sophomores in the game, and Williams also took part in the Slam Dunk Contest. On Wednesday, Williams said the experience was unforgettable. “It was just fun, man,” Williams said. “It was great for my family, great for the organization to have myself, Ricky, just being part of the whole All-Star Weekend.”

The 2013 BBVA Rising Stars Challenge will feature two teams drafted by TNT Analysts Charles Barkley and Shaquille O'Neal who will serve as the opposing general managers. Each team will have nine man rosters, consisting of both NBA rookies and sophomores drafted from the available pool selected by the NBA's assistant coaches.

The head coaches for both teams will be the lead assistant coaches from the 2013 NBA All-Star Game coaching staffs. The East and West coaching staffs will be determined by the best record in each conference through games played Feb. 3. The Chicago Bulls’ and Oklahoma City’s staffs, by virtue of having helmed the sidelines of the 2012 All-Star Game, are not eligible to coach this year’s game. Fans will have the opportunity to vote online for who should be in the starting lineup for each team.

Shved, whom the Wolves signed as a free agent on July 25, 2012, has played in 36 games this season for Minnesota, averaging 10.7 points, 2.5 rebounds and 4.6 assists. In 16 starts, the 6-6 guard has registered averages of 11.1 points and 5.9 assists.

Among rookies, Shved ranks 2nd in assists (4.6 apg), 3rd in three-pointers made (52), 4th in minutes per game (28.8 mpg), 5th in scoring (10.7 ppg) and 8th in steals (.86). Shved is currently one of two rookies (Damian Lillard) to average at least 10.0 points and 4.0 assists per game and earlier this year he joined Lillard as the only first-year players to record a point/assist double-double (12 points, 12 assists on 12/20 vs. OKC; 12 points, 10 assists 12/29 vs. PHO). The 12 assists on Dec. 20 vs. Oklahoma City is an NBA rookie-high this season.

Joining Shved in the pool of players are rookies Harrison Barnes (Golden State), Bradley Beal (Washington), Anthony Davis (New Orleans), Andre Drummond (Detroit), Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (Charlotte), Damian Lillard (Portland), Dion Waiters (Cleveland) and Tyler Zeller (Cleveland), along with sophomores Kenneth Faried (Denver), Kyrie Irving (Cleveland), Brandon Knight (Detroit), Kawhi Leonard (San Antonio), Chandler Parsons (Houston), Klay Thompson (Golden State), Tristan Thompson (Cleveland), Nikola Vucevic (Orlando) and Kemba Walker (Charlotte).

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