Timberwolves to face Russian team in preseason

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Minnesota Timberwolves' web of worldwide connections keeps on expanding.

The team announced Monday it will entertain an international opponent for the second straight preseason. This year, it's Russian champion and 2013 Euroleague semifinalist CSKA Moscow -- the former team of Timberwolves guard Alexey Shved and forward Andrei Kirilenko.

As part of the Euroleague American Tour 2013, Minnesota and CSKA Moscow will clash at 7 p.m. Oct. 7 in the Target Center.The Timberwolves also revealed they'll host the Toronto Raptors in an exhibition contest two days later, also at 7 p.m.

"We're extremely excited to host one of Europe's premier teams in CSKA Moscow," Timberwolves president Chris Wright said in a release. "As our great game's popularity continues to grow exponentially internationally, it's extremely important that we expose our fans to the best European basketball. The preseason offers us the unique opportunity to play teams from around the world, and we look forward to CSKA Moscow's stay in the Twin Cities."

Kirilenko played the 2011-12 season with CSKA Moscow, earning 2012 Euroleague MVP accolades. Shved was there with him, in the last of seven seasons with the Russian organization before signing with Minnesota last summer.

Last preseason, the Timberwolves beat Israeli Basketball Super League member Maccabi Bazan Haifa. 

It'll be CSKA Moscow's third trip to the United States and Canada. Minnesota has previously-announced plans to play out of the country, too, in an Oct. 20 exhibition in Montreal, Quebec against the Boston Celtics.

The rest of the Timberwolves' preseason slate will be released at a later date.

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