Tonight, for the first time we'll get a look at the newest additions to the Wizards, Javale McGee and Dee Brown. Tonight, we'll also get our first look at Vladimir Veremeenko, who you may remember was the WIzards' 2nd round choice in 2006. Unlike our first round pick from '06, Oleksiy Pecherov, VV hasn't had a chance to play with the team until now.
While gaining clearance to play in this year's Summer League doesn't make Veremeenko's buyout from BC Khimki any easier, it does give a chance to see how he does against players of NBA or near NBA talent, which will go a long way in helping management determine if he'll be worth buying out at some point down the line.
From the little that I've been able to find about Veremeenko on the interwebs, it looks like we won't be getting a stiff:
He runs the court very well, and enjoys a very good first step and nice handles that allow him to penetrate, giving him the ability to punish his defender with his superior quickness. He can also produce from the low post, although he usually looks for a turnaround jumper in those situations.
Veremeenko understands the game pretty well. You can feel it while watching him pass the ball, quickly and to the right place, or just by observing his efficient movement without the ball while looking for room to operate.
He's quite a nice team defender, careful with rotations and sometimes even energetic while trying to come up with a block from the weak side, showing a nice vertical leap and good timing. He has good lateral quickness for the power forward spot as well.
Not only does he have that going for him, but he's also is familiar with the Princeton offense, so he won't have to deal with the learning curve that other players have have struggled with when they're learning the offense.
His strengths show up quite nicely in the stat sheet, where his shooting numbers continue to rise. This season he's shooting at nearly a 65% clip while hitting 50% from beyond the arc. That's pretty daggone good. You'll notice that most of his other averages are down, but that's a result of playing less minutes which I think can be attributed to BC Khimki using him as a spark plug off the bench in the same way Dallas used Jamison during the year he spent with the Mavs, but I can't say for sure, since I just haven't been able to get the TiVo to record to Russian SuperLeague games yet.
Like most of you, I'm salivating over what the three headed monster of Dee Brown, Nick Young, and Dominic McGuire will bring on the fast break, but make sure to keep an eye on the mystery man from Belarus tonight as well.