The Houston Rockets have made some moves. General manager Daryl Morey wasn’t content with keeping the team the way it was and thus, trades have been made. The bigger name deal was the trade made for Corey Brewer, who is a solid, if unspectacular, role player. The less high profile deal that the Rockets made was trading with the Philadelphia 76ers to acquire the services of combo guard Alexey Shved. It may be the lower profile trade, but it might be the better one of the two.
First and foremost, let’s talk about what the Rockets gave up to acquire Shved. They basically gave the 76ers nothing, as they flipped Ronnie Turiaf’s contract to them in exchange for Shved. The Rockets also dropped Francisco Garcia to make room for Shved. Clearly, the team gave up very little to get an under-the-radar combo guard to come off of the bench and help run the offense alongside Isaiah Canaan.
Taking a look at Alexey Shved’s career numbers, they don’t look very impressive. Prior to this season, Shved never averaged over 8.6 points and 3.7 assists per game, doing so in his rookie season in 23.9 minutes per game. Clearly, he was a role player who struggled to adapt to the NBA game early on. He also has never posted a Player Efficiency Rating (PER) higher than 11.
That has changed this season, as Shved has shouldered more of the load. This year, he is averaging a career high in points per game with 9.9, to go along with 2.7 assists per game. What’s impressive is that he is doing this in only 16.8 minutes per game. He is also putting up a career high 19.7 Player Efficiency Rating. That is some very impressive improvement from the third-year player out of Russia.
Shved was an underrated move, as he and Corey Brewer will team up to help shore up the Rockets bench unit. The Rockets bench gets a capable scorer who is also a solid passer that can run the pick and roll well enough. Passing was sorely lacking for the bench unit, as neither Canaan nor Jason Terry were natural, pass first guards. With Shved, the bench can now run the pick and roll effectively, while adding to their firepower.
Shved does come with his fair share of negatives as well. For one, his defense is below average. That’s not something that the Rockets want to deal with. He is also not a very good shooter from long range. Shved only shoots a career 29.5 percent from downtown. Normally, that wouldn’t fly with the Rockets’ system. However, Shved brings enough passing that it can be overlooked, especially coming off of the bench.
Shved isn’t going to set the league on fire or anything like that, however his contributions will certainly help make the Rockets better as they try to contend for a championship. It helps that the Daryl Morey managed to snag Shved for nothing more than a bag of balls and some potato chips. It’s a great move from the Rockets and a very underrated move by one of the best teams in the NBA.