Minnesota Timberwolves: Breaking Down the Revamped Shooting Guard Position

Michael Gibbons@DachicagofanCorrespondent IIAugust 16, 2012

PORTLAND - DECEMBER 28:  Brandon Roy #7 of the Portland Trail Blazers calls a play during the game against the Minnesota Timberwolves on December 28, 2007 at the Rose Garden in Portland, Oregon.  The Blazers won 109-98.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

The Timberwolves have gone through some big changes this offseason. Perhaps the position that saw the most change was shooting guard.

General manager David Kahn was able to sign rookie Alexey Shved from Russia, who impressed during the Olympics. He also convinced Brandon Roy that Minnesota is where he should stage his comeback.

Now some may ask who should start, but I am wondering if it's enough.

That is the million-dollar question. In fact Charley Walters of the Pioneer Press got a chance to ask owner Glen Taylor his opinion. Taylor thinks it may take some time for Shved to work his way into the lineup, while he is interested in seeing how Roy handles practice.

If Roy is up for it and healthy, which is a big if, he should be the clear choice to start. Roy is a former Rookie of the Year winner, as well as being a three time All-Star and being named to the 2009 and 2010 All-NBA second and third teams, respectively.

For his career, he has averaged 19 points, 4.3 rebounds and 4.7 assists per game. If it wasn't for his injury-shortened 2010-2011 season, all those numbers would be higher.

His best season by the numbers and games played came during the 2008-2009 season. During that year he played in 78 games while averaging 22.6 points, 4.7 rebounds and 5.1 rebounds.

However, injuries derailed his career. After only missing four games that season, he missed 17 the next and 35 during the 2010-2011 season. Combine those with the 66 games he missed last season during his retirement, and he has missed 112 over the past three seasons.


If Roy is unable to deal with the rigors of practice or the season, then coach Rick Adelman will have to turn to Shved. While he did impress during the London Olympics, he also disappeared at times.

For every performance he had like the 25-point game against Argentina in the Bronze medal game, he also had a few stinkers like scoring only two points against Spain. During the eight games played, he scored in double digits four times, while being held under five points four times.

At 23-years of age, there is plenty of time for him to improve, but it might be hard to rely on him night in and night out based on his Olympic performance.

Together these two could potentially be a lethal combination, but they could also be a train wreck. If Roy is healthy and Shved plays up to potential, it might be hard to keep them off the floor.

However, playing devil's advocate, what if it goes the other way?

If Shved can't get his shot up or it isn't falling and Roy is in street clothes more than in uniform, where do the Wolves turn?

The only other shooting guard on the roster is Malcolm Lee, who appeared in only 19 games last season during his rookie year. 

One player, who is available, that they may want to look at is Michael Redd. While Redd also has some injury red flags, he played in 51 of the Suns 66 games last season. 

Redd missed most of those games early on in the season, missing 10 games in the opening month. At the end of the season, he appeared in all 15 games in April averaging 18.3 minutes a game while scoring 11.4 points. 

Adding Redd to the mix would provide insurance in case of Roy not being healthy and if Shved isn't ready for primetime. Signing him is a perfect example of low risk and potentially high reward because a lot is riding on this season.

Unless Kahn wants Kevin Love to replace Dwight Howard as the next big name to be traded, he may want to continue fine-tuning the shooting guard spot.