MINNEAPOLIS The Timberwolves officially signed Russian guard Alexey Shved on Wednesday. The team did not announce the terms of the deal, which is reported to be for three years and 10 million.
Just hours after trading guard Wayne Ellington to Memphis for forward Dante Cunningham, the team confirmed one of the signings that may have helped to push Ellington out. The Timberwolves came to a verbal agreement with Shved on July 10, when he visited Minneapolis. He's currently preparing to compete in the London Olympics with the Russian national team.
"We are excited to have Alexey join the Minnesota Timberwolves," Timberwolves president of basketball operations David Kahn said in a statement. "Alexey has been regarded as one of the best young talents in Europe for the past few seasons and will be a tremendous addition to our club. He is a smooth, fast-paced player who brings great shooting and passing abilities to our team. He will fit in well with our style of play and we look forward to seeing him a Timberwolves uniform."
Shved, 23, has played professionally in Russia since 2006. In 2011-12, the 6-5 guard averaged 11.6 points, 3.0 rebounds and 3.3 assists in Russian League games with CSKA Moscow. In the Olympic Qualifying Tournament, Shved helped Russia defeat Nigeria to earn a spot, and he averaged 10.5 points and 5.0 assists in four games.
On Monday, Shved spoke with R-Sport, a Russian news service, about the Timberwolves and the reasons for which he chose the team for his NBA debut.
"Minnesota's a good, young and ambitious team," Shved said. "All those factors were reasons to choose this club in particular, plus coach Adelman. They say that Rick trusts young players and discovers talents, and I'm ready to work for my part."
The Shved signing marks the first official signing of free agency by the Timberwolves, who have verbal agreements with two additional players, Brandon Roy and Greg Stiemsma. Stiemsma, who is a restricted free agent, is clear to sign with the team as of Tuesday, when the Celtics announced they would not match the Timberwolves' offer sheet.
Follow Joan Niesen on Twitter.