C's pick Aaron Nesmith #14 overall

ElcaballitoMVP

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Hope that foot is okay.

From ESPN.com:
Strengths
- Possesses an impressive physical profile at 6-foot-6, 213 pounds, with a near 7-foot wingspan. Above average athlete whose strength and length give him good upside to grow into on both ends of the floor.
- Arguably the best shooter in the draft. Made more than four 3-pointers per game and converted 50% of his attempts. Can hit jumpers in a variety of ways off movement, screens, pull-ups and difficult spot-ups with a hand in his face. Career 83% free throw shooter.
- Lauded for his work ethic and leadership.

Improvement areas
- Played only 14 games due to a stress fracture in his foot. Team played a weak out-of-conference schedule, limiting NBA scouts' opportunities to evaluate him against quality competition.
- Not a prolific shot-creator. Average ball handler who has plenty of room to improve his passing.
- Has good tools and versatility defensively but didn't always make a major impact. Gets beat off the dribble -- not the rangiest or most agile defender.

Projected role: Versatile, shooting wing
 

Average Game James

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So now we're going to find out that Danny drafting shooters is like Bill drafting WR and that's why he always goes for the athletic wing defenders, aren't we?
 

BaseballJones

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Nesmith: 6'6" guard who shot 51.2% from the floor, 52.2% from three, and 82.5% from the line, and also grabbed 4.9 rebounds a game.

If that kind of guy can't help the Celtics...not sure who could. That's exactly what they need.
 

PedroKsBambino

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A great wing scorer and they beat Miami even with Hayward being most MIA.

I know there is more theoretical upside with others, but boy...a 20 minute a game gunner who isn't embarrasing at the other end is a great addition roster-wise. Duncan Robinson was a starter for the Heat and Nesmith is more versatile (which of course doesn't take much).

Shoot high on the later picks
 

Cellar-Door

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A great wing scorer and they beat Miami even with Hayward being most MIA.

I know there is more theoretical upside with others, but boy...a 20 minute a game gunner who isn't embarrasing at the other end is a great addition roster-wise. Duncan Robinson was a starter for the Heat and Nesmith is more versatile (which of course doesn't take much).

Shoot high on the later picks
Robinson was a better 3pt shooter in college though... 3 seasons of sustained production, Nesmith had 1 amazing year and one pretty bad one.

Means he’s gotten better.
Or he had a hot streak then broke his foot before it evened out. Won't know until he gets to the NBA
 

StuckOnYouk

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I love this Nesmith kid. His dad instills in him a great work ethic at a young age, he ends up earning a scholarship at a school like Vanderbilt and has a big jump in his second year albeit in a shortened season. Not necessarily a fluke when you consider the work either instilled in him.

Great kid to root for. He's gonna fit in well with this teams persona.
 

lovegtm

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This is the guy I wanted at 14, which means almost nothing, since I don’t follow college closely.

I’m ok with a “draft potentially good shooters next to the Jays until one works out” draft strategy.
 

Cellar-Door

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I threw some cold water on the "50%" lines, but I do think this is a pretty good pick.
Would obviously have preferred Vassell, but if we can turn him into Danny Green I'd be quite happy
 

JCizzle

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I think the only ways he doesn't make the wing rotation are:
1. His shot goes missing
2. Langford takes a massive leap and eats up most of the bench wing minutes.
I hope I'm wrong, but I don't see how Romeo will be taking much of a leap since he's not back on the court until December. He really needed this time off to work on his shot.
 

radsoxfan

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on 115 attempts.
He shot 34% on 175 attempts the year before
I agree, 52% probably isn't sustainable or his true talent level. But on the bright side, in those 14 games he did shoot a ton of 3s, over 8 per game.

If you average his 2 seasons he is still at 41% from 3 and trending up. Plus 83% FT shooter both seasons. Guy is a very good shooter.

I also liked these nuggets on his bio. Cool he ended up in Boston, though I guess his brother just graduated.

  • Named to SEC First-Year Academic Honor Roll in 2018-19.
  • Brother, Eddie, was a senior at Harvard in 2019-20 with a concentration in molecular and cellular biology.

 

lovegtm

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I agree, 52% probably isn't sustainable or his true talent level. But on the bright side, in those 14 games he did shoot a ton of 3s, over 8 per game.

If you average his 2 seasons he is still at 41% from 3 and trending up. Plus 83% FT shooter both seasons. Guy is a very good shooter.

I also liked these nuggets on his bio. Cool he ended up in Boston, though I guess his brother just graduated.

  • Named to SEC First-Year Academic Honor Roll in 2018-19.
  • Brother, Eddie, was a senior at Harvard in 2019-20 with a concentration in molecular and cellular biology.

He seems to fit the profile they like (all else being equal) of smart/highly organized guys.
 

benhogan

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I agree, 52% probably isn't sustainable or his true talent level. But on the bright side, in those 14 games he did shoot a ton of 3s, over 8 per game.

If you average his 2 seasons he is still at 41% from 3 and trending up. Plus 83% FT shooter both seasons. Guy is a very good shooter.

I also liked these nuggets on his bio. Cool he ended up in Boston, though I guess his brother just graduated.

  • Named to SEC First-Year Academic Honor Roll in 2018-19.
  • Brother, Eddie, was a senior at Harvard in 2019-20 with a concentration in molecular and cellular biology.

I imagine Jaylen Brown would be a good mentor for Nesmith. Both from the South, highly intelligent, and a flair for fashion.
 

lovegtm

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Getting excited about the pick in a Celtics-specific context. The one thing he does really well is the one thing they need, and the main thing he needs to get better at (defense) is the thing the Celtics are the best at developing in big guards/wings.

Nesmith also heavily complements Romeo rather than blocking him. Not the biggest deal, but you don't want to just burn through late lotto guys without putting them in positions to succeed.
 

PedroKsBambino

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Robinson was a better 3pt shooter in college though... 3 seasons of sustained production, Nesmith had 1 amazing year and one pretty bad one.



Or he had a hot streak then broke his foot before it evened out. Won't know until he gets to the NBA
Robinson- averaged 9.3 PPG in college which simply is not 'sustained production' He was a one-dimensional shooter who did hit 42% of his threes, but wasn't really productive as a basketball player.

On Nesmith, if you're going to get into sample sizes you have to look at the biggest one. He had almost 300 threes at a 41% rate over two years, with the second year materially better. So, no, Robinson neither was a better shooter at his peak or in aggregate in addition to being a lot less productive.

It's certainly possible Nesmith just got lucky his second year, but neither scouting nor stats suggest that's a huge risk here.
 

BigSoxFan

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Getting excited about the pick in a Celtics-specific context. The one thing he does really well is the one thing they need, and the main thing he needs to get better at (defense) is the thing the Celtics are the best at developing in big guards/wings.

Nesmith also heavily complements Romeo rather than blocking him. Not the biggest deal, but you don't want to just burn through late lotto guys without putting them in positions to succeed.
Yeah, he was a guy I wanted all along so pleased by this. If he performs like he did before he got hurt, he’ll space the floor for the Jay’s and be a nice 2nd unit complement with Romeo’s slashing game. Consistent low 80s FT shooter too and Stevens will coach him up on D. From a makeup standpoint, seems mature and intelligent so looks like a great fit.
 

EL Jeffe

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Yeah, I've no (zero) questions about Nesmith's shooting.His form is picture perfect and repeatable. He has great feet and a feel for creating space; jab steps, side steps, and step backs. He's a Day One floor spacer and a guy you just can't help off of defensively. The other stuff? Meh. He'll be a passable defender based on length, build, and IQ. He'll never be a facilitator, but he won't need to be in Boston. His job will be to get buckets and space the floor, which the 2nd unit was truly lacking in. I also like the way he compliments Romeo and gives Boston backup wing options. If you need more defense and slashing, you turn to Romeo (when available). If you need more shooting and spacing, Nesmith. No idea on the foot issue, but clearly Boston was comfortable. Sometimes that stuff gets purposely leaked to manipulate draft boards.
 

BaseballJones

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I agree, 52% probably isn't sustainable or his true talent level. But on the bright side, in those 14 games he did shoot a ton of 3s, over 8 per game.

If you average his 2 seasons he is still at 41% from 3 and trending up. Plus 83% FT shooter both seasons. Guy is a very good shooter.
Yep, and he's got basically perfect shooting mechanics, so you can tell it isn't a fluke.

Also, as I've looked at some videos of him, I've noticed that he isn't afraid to go to the block, which many of you here know I *love*. To have a 6'6" guy who can fill it up from three be able to take guys in the post as well...man that's just super sweet.

If his foot is okay, this kid is going to bring some much needed shooting and scoring punch to the Celtics. I'm excited.
 

lovegtm

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The list of non-bigs for whom foot fractures were career-killers is pretty short, so you definitely take your chances there.

Are people (somehow) still not pricing elite shooting highly enough? “Elite off-ball mover and shooter with gravity and long with passable D” is a starter on any title contender.

Not gonna crown Nesmith’s ass yet, but his weaknesses simply don’t matter at all if his strengths pan out.
 

sezwho

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Yeah, I've no (zero) questions about Nesmith's shooting.His form is picture perfect and repeatable. He has great feet and a feel for creating space; jab steps, side steps, and step backs. He's a Day One floor spacer and a guy you just can't help off of defensively. The other stuff? Meh. He'll be a passable defender based on length, build, and IQ. He'll never be a facilitator, but he won't need to be in Boston. His job will be to get buckets and space the floor, which the 2nd unit was truly lacking in. I also like the way he compliments Romeo and gives Boston backup wing options. If you need more defense and slashing, you turn to Romeo (when available). If you need more shooting and spacing, Nesmith. No idea on the foot issue, but clearly Boston was comfortable. Sometimes that stuff gets purposely leaked to manipulate draft boards.
Was pretty bummed in the run up to the draft, as I (fatalistically) assumed we would do nothing and draft a stack of bodies to sit on the end of the bench.

That said, I was glad to read this take, as well as that from several others. I'm still looking at this offseason through the lens of people who could potentially help in a deep playoff run. Admittedly, this isn't a realistic goal for any draft pick, as the refs will squash any rookies who try to play D or make shots in the playoffs (Ok, I see you Hero).

Unless we somehow trade all the assets for someone who could actually be on the floor to make a difference on Offense when it counts, then we are still in the place of playing fun regular season basketball and even getting stops when it matters, but runs into a wall getting baskets down the stretch of an elimination game. Aron Baynes and a better backup PG etc just isn't moving the needle for me...and we are still potentially trading GH who is one of the only people who could get a tough basket with time ticking down in the playoffs.

Hopefully the Jays will take the next steps, Kemba isn't a permanent playoff mirage, and the even more wet behind the ears kids will be ready when it matters.
 

tbrown_01923

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I also like the way he compliments Romeo and gives Boston backup wing options. If you need more defense and slashing, you turn to Romeo (when available). If you need more shooting and spacing, Nesmith.
For roster fit i was thinking the same thing with tatum, brown, langford and nesmith they should be able to put complimentary pairs of wings on the court.

His shot looks quick to me. (and i have only watched a few vids) it seems that under pressure he has a real quick release. With space his release looks slower - not like there is a different load, the form looks the same just much more deliberate. Am i imagining that? If not is that a feature or a bug?
 

DannyDarwinism

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Sam Vecenie’s scouting report:


17. Aaron Nesmith | W | Vanderbilt | Birthdate: Oct. 16, 1999 (Age: 21) | 6-6 | 215 LBS | Hometown: Charleston, S.C. BACKGROUND: Parents are Benard and Erine. Comes from a high-achieving academic family. Brother attends Harvard and education has always been important. Graduated high school with a 3.5 grade point average from Porter Gaud School in Charleston, S.C., a very strong academic, private school. Has had a very mature, focused approach to his life since high school. Helped lead Porter Gaud to three straight state titles in the 3A classification. Averaged 21 points per game as a senior. Won Gatorade High School Player of the Year in South Carolina, which recognizes both on- and- off-court performance. Consensus four-star recruit that really spiked in the rankings starting in the summer before his senior year despite his positive previous past performances. Chose Vanderbilt over South Carolina and Florida in large part because of academics. Part of the best recruiting class in school history along with Darius Garland and Simi Shittu. Came off the bench early in his freshman season but took on a larger offensive role as the year progressed because of the Garland knee injury that knocked him out for the season. Really emerged as a sophomore, though, once Garland and Shittu departed and Bryce Drew was fired in favor of Jerry Stackhouse. Stackhouse and assistant Adam Mazarei came from NBA backgrounds and with that came NBA sets to free him. Running more intricate offensive sets off ball, Nesmith blossomed into one of the best floor-spacers in college hoops while averaging 23 points per contest. However, his season was cut short in January after a stress fracture to his right foot. Recovery is said to have gone well with no concern for long-term problems, but teams will want to get a look at his medicals to fully clear him.

YEAR TEAM LEAGUE Age GP PPG RPG APG TOPG BPG SPG FG% 3P% FT% 2018-19 Vanderbilt NCAA (SEC) 19 32 11.0 5.5 1.4 1.6 0.6 0.7 39.2 33.7 82.5 2019-20 Vanderbilt NCAA (SEC) 20 14 23.0 4.9 0.9 1.7 0.9 1.4 51.2 52.2 82.5

STRENGTHS: Absolute lights-out shooter. Hit 52.5 percent of his 3s in his sophomore season before getting hurt. Most of these shots came off the catch, but a lot of them were high degree-of-difficulty shots. His mechanics are elite. Everything is so quiet in terms of movement. Great base, simple load into the shot and clean release with great rotation. Shot prep is elite with his footwork always in position. He’s always ready to fire. Only two players in all of college hoops scored more points coming off of screens than Nesmith per game, which goes to show how strong Nesmith is at shooting off of movement in large part because of that prep work. Can also hit shots off of dribble-hand-offs, which are quickly becoming some of the toughest sets to deal with the NBA. Doesn’t have the quickest release in the world but can speed it up if he sees someone flying to closeout. Also has the ability to side-step and knock down shots off a couple of dribbles if a defender closes out heavily. He’ll step into the NBA as a knockdown shooter from Day One, something every team in the NBA is looking for. I don’t think he’s a 52.5 percent 3-point shooter, but he should make 40 percent of his 3s at a real volume.

The rest of what Nesmith does revolves around his IQ on offense. He’s smart at running off of screens and finding extra space. Smart at relocating off of offensive rebounds and broken action. Also good as a screener himself, as Vanderbilt used a lot of “screen the screener” action to get him loose. His shot IQ is terrific, as he rarely takes dumb shots despite sometimes taking contested ones. When opponents close out heavily on him, he can attack and get all the way to the rim, where he uses his length to finish well. Made 55 percent of his shots in the halfcourt this season according to Synergy. Sneaky decent floater game. Good size and length on defense at 6-6 with a 6-11 wingspan and great strength. More of a positional defender than a chaos one, though. Largely a guy who can operate within a positive defensive scheme, but not one who will make the defense a positive. Does a solid job on wings and forwards in man, but gets blown by more often than you’d like to see because he doesn’t have great lateral quickness. Rotates well and typically is not at fault for a breakdown. His defense is neither a positive nor a negative.

WEAKNESSES: Doesn’t do a whole lot with ball in hand other than shoot it. Resigned to driving in a straight line when he has an advantageous situation. Doesn’t operate well in ball-screens. Not a great ballhandler with shiftiness or burst. Generally, a below-average athlete by NBA standard. Additionally, Nesmith is a pretty poor passer. He’s not selfish and generally makes the right decision. But you’d like to see him make reads quicker and read the second and third levels of defenses on kickouts. Does not make advanced passing reads at all. Will need to hit the ball reversal at a rapid speed at the next level. There’s a difference between IQ and intelligence versus feel for the game. Nesmith has the first two in a big way, but he hasn’t displayed enough of the latter.

Not really a switchable defender despite being a wing. His lateral quickness being an issue, he’s susceptible to getting taken advantage of if teams run 1/3 ball-screens with his man. If he does end up turning into more of a negative on defense, it’ll be because of this.

SUMMARY: Where you fall on Nesmith largely comes down to how important you think shooting is. Because at the end of the day, the shooting and basketball IQ is really all you’re getting from him in a truly positive sense. He won’t kill you on defense, but he’s not going to really make an impact. Imagine Nesmith as something of a better version of Allen Crabbe. He runs off of screens better, he can attack in a straight line a bit more comfortably and he’s stronger and smarter on defense by one level of importance. But it will likely be wrong to call Nesmith a true 3-and-D guy, too. Crabbe is going to end up making about $80 million in his career, while being a 27 rotation player on three playoff teams. Can the increased ability on defense compared to Crabbe make enough of a difference to where he’s worth taking in the mid first? I think so, but Nesmith is also my least favorite of the wings in this tier. GRADE: Solid mid-first round grade
 

Jed Zeppelin

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It will all come down to the shot. If he is a high volume 40+% 3pt shooter, we will be happy. If he settles in the mid-30s, we will likely be unhappy. If his 2nd year leap is indicative of an even higher trajectory, we will be extremely happy. Not that his physical/athletic profile suggests there is a ton of projection left there, but NBA spacing can do a lot for wings. Will want to see how the BBIQ develops, but depending who he is on the floor with, things could be very simple for him (shoot the damn ball and don't mess up the rotations on D).

Hope we get to see him and Romeo running some two man game this season with Romeo as ball handler and Nesmith as screener.
 

lovegtm

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...
Unless we somehow trade all the assets for someone who could actually be on the floor to make a difference on Offense when it counts, then we are still in the place of playing fun regular season basketball and even getting stops when it matters, but runs into a wall getting baskets down the stretch of an elimination game. Aron Baynes and a better backup PG etc just isn't moving the needle for me...and we are still potentially trading GH who is one of the only people who could get a tough basket with time ticking down in the playoffs.
...
You're referring to the most recent playoffs, in which Hayward basically missed the first 2.5 rounds and was a shell of himself when he came back?
 

lovegtm

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It will all come down to the shot. If he is a high volume 40+% 3pt shooter, we will be happy. If he settles in the mid-30s, we will likely be unhappy. If his 2nd year leap is indicative of an even higher trajectory, we will be extremely happy. Not that his physical/athletic profile suggests there is a ton of projection left there, but NBA spacing can do a lot for wings. Will want to see how the BBIQ develops, but depending who he is on the floor with, things could be very simple for him (shoot the damn ball and don't mess up the rotations on D).

Hope we get to see him and Romeo running some two man game this season with Romeo as ball handler and Nesmith as screener.
People got burned by Edwards not working out. In reality, sometimes guys come into the NBA and remain able to shoot! Here's hoping.