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Suns reportedly wanted 2017 Eurocup MVP Shved to run the show this season

Rumor has it the Suns wanted Euro star and former NBA player Alexey Shved to run the show next to Devin Booker next season.

Minnesota Timberwolves v New York Knicks Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images

After passing on one Euroleague champion at the top of the NBA Draft this summer, the Phoenix Suns were reportedly interested in signing a different one.

According to reports, the Suns were one of four teams that tried to bring 2017 Eurocup Most Valuable Player Alexey Shved, a 6’6” combo guard, to the desert from Khimki Moscow. Shved was also MVP of the Russian league, VTB United, for the 2016-17 season.

Shved, 29 years old now, won the Russian league MVP in that 2016-17 season after averaging 22.1 points (38% on threes), 5.2 assists (against 3.0 turnovers) and 4.0 rebounds per game as lead guard for Khimki. He was the first player in EuroCup history to average 22/5/4 and made first-team all-EuroCup that year as well. He also made the All-Tournament team at EuroBasket in 2017.

Quick context: there’s regional leagues (Russian league, Spanish league, etc) that have their own awards and playoffs, then there’s the Eurocup and EuroLeague, where they play against one another across leagues. It’s in those tournaments, for example, where Luka Doncic’s Real Madrid team (Spanish league) might play against Khimki or CSKA Moscow.

Watch some highlights of the MVP.

For those who don’t remember him in the NBA, Shved is a 6’6” combo guard who played three seasons in the NBA before returning to Europe in 2015 to dominate over there.

Shved even put up respectable stats in the NBA, posting a solid 14.8 points per game (37% on threes) in 16 games for the Knicks and more than 10 points per game for three teams overall that season.

Here are highlights of Shved in 2014-15 with three teams.

Shved’s problems in the NBA were a lack of foot speed to play respectable defense on the perimeter, and a relative lack of shot-making. If you can’t drain jumpers on a regular basis and can’t stop the other side, you’re going to have a hard time staying in the league.

After that, Shved was done with the NBA and went back to Europe to win the MVP.

In three seasons since returning to Europe, Shved has dominated. He makes more than $3 million per year over there as a perennial league MVP candidate, and for those who’ve done any kind of digging you might know that $3 million over there is a lot more than it is stateside. Over there, daily expenses are covered too, including housing and cars and daily stipends.

So I’m not surprised Shved passed on NBA offers.

It’s possible the Suns made that $4 million offer. They actually do have the $4.4 million “room” exception to use this summer, and it appears possible the Suns wanted to use that money on a veteran Euroleague MVP combo guard to help lead the kiddie corps.

Now that the Suns have passed on the 2018 Euroleague MVP in the draft, and now missed on 2017 EuroCup MVP, they still have a chance to set their sights on 2010 Euroleague MVP Milos Teodosic, who currently is one of six point/combo guards with the Los Angeles Clippers. If the Clippers are looking to cull the herd, he’d be a good addition to the Suns’ rotation.