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Finding minutes a challenge for talented Shengelia

Roster crunch could mean limited role for 22-year-old small forward
10/25/2013 10:59 AM ET
By Doug Williams

22-year-old swingman Tornike Shengelia will have trouble finding minutes on a loaded Nets bench.(AP)
BACKGROUND

Tornike "Toko" Shengelia is a 22-year old Georgian small forward for the Brooklyn Nets. He was drafted by the 76ers in 2012 before being traded to Brooklyn, and then signed a 2-year deal with the Nets in July of 2012. At 6'9", 220 lbs, Toko has the size to play the 3, but he didn't get much playing time in his rookie year on a roster filled with accomplished big men and swing players.

LAST SEASON

Toko appeared in only 19 games last season, averaging 5 minutes, 1.6 points, and 1.2 rebounds. His best game of the season came on April 15th against the Washington Wizards. He played 25 minutes and scored 11 points with 11 rebounds. He spent most of his time in the D-League with the Springfield Armor.

THIS SEASON

The Nets roster is interesting…it's filled with proven veterans and unproven youngsters. Toko has barely been given a shot to succeed in the NBA, so all he can hope for is a chance to shine in 2013-2014. Much like when recorded a double-double in Washington at the end of last season. Still, Shengelia has a long way to go on the depth chart. He's behind guys like Paul Pierce, Alan Anderson, Mirza Teletovic and Andrei Kirilenko. Chances are that Toko will be spending a lot of time in the D-League again, unless Jason Kidd loves what he sees from him in the preseason. He may appear in closer to 30 games this season, but in terms of his stats, I don't see much of a change there either. 

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