C's pick Aaron Nesmith #14 overall

HomeRunBaker

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I think his shot is there but as HRB notes, he's still trying to figure when to shoot, when to drive, and when to pull-up (although he hasn't hit any pull-up jumpers in SL to my memory).

He still looks like he's thinking too much but maybe that's just me.
No it’s not you. That’s what shooters tend to do when making the leap to a level where they are at huge physical disadvantages. I always preach how basketball is a game of reaction and not thinking......and if you are on a court thinking at this level you have no chance. It took Doug McDermott 3-4 years to slow the game down as well. These things take time with shooters but without being in a comfort zone a shooter has no chance at sustained success.
 

JM3

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It's hard to summarize 7 disparate opinions in one headline, but "high opinions with room to grow" is not the direction I would have gone.

Scouts laud shooting/hustle, question upside? It all seems fair.
 

128

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There's a lot more good than bad in those comments. The consensus seems to be that his floor is a 20-mpg 3-and-D guy who'll complement the Jays (and Horford) well.
 

HomeRunBaker

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It's hard to summarize 7 disparate opinions in one headline, but "high opinions with room to grow" is not the direction I would have gone.

Scouts laud shooting/hustle, question upside? It all seems fair.
Yes, a lot of good stuff in there especially with WC2 talking about the thinking vs reacting which I always preach for young players.
 

Cesar Crespo

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There's a lot more good than bad in those comments. The consensus seems to be that his floor is a 20-mpg 3-and-D guy who'll complement the Jays (and Horford) well.
They aren't exactly glowing though, especially if that's his ceiling. Sure we will take it, but it's a guy who we don't re up after his rookie deal.
 

Devizier

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HomeRunBaker

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HRB bait:
Yeah I laughed at this. The last three games they played one players saw 27, 25 and 37 minutes while the other played 8, 17 and 11……..then we signed one guy to take those minutes along with getting Jaylen back. Where do these guys except these 20mpg to come from when he avg 12 in our last 3 games when we were shorthanded?

To clarify I don’t think either has a path to a ton of minutes aside from injuries or Covid. I expect both to get spot minutes here and there along with some DNP-CD’s when we are all full strength.

I’m with WC2 scout in that I don’t see what others do in his overall game to be a much of a contributor. Why are these guys comparing him to Redick and Korver? LOL
 

Cesar Crespo

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Yeah I laughed at this. The last three games they played one players saw 27, 25 and 37 minutes while the other played 8, 17 and 11……..then we signed one guy to take those minutes along with getting Jaylen back. Where do these guys except these 20mpg to come from when he avg 12 in our last 3 games when we were shorthanded?
Injuries and rest days.
 

pjheff

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To clarify I don’t think either has a path to a ton of minutes aside from injuries or Covid. I expect both to get spot minutes here and there along with some DNP-CD’s when we are all full strength.
How about Pritchard? I think one of the young players will have a sizable role in the rotation, and while we might prefer more length in the abstract, I suspect that PP has the inside track on it.
 

JM3

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There are 240 minutes to be divided in an NBA game.

Assuming full health...

TL/Horford/Kanter 48
Tatum 35
Brown 35

That leaves 122 minutes for:

MS
DS
JR
PP
AN
RL
JH
GW

MS has played 27-33 minutes all 7 years in the league, including 33 last year.

DS has played 29-32 each of the last 5 seasons.

JR has played 30-35 each of the last 5 seasons.

Even if you bump those guys down to 80 total, that leaves 42 minutes for The other 5 guys combined.

Let's give the PFs 20 minutes to limit time the Jays have to spend at PF a bit during the regular season.

That leaves 22 minutes for PP + AN + RL.

Of course, assuming full health is unrealistic. They could play without a center (but they could also play with 2 centers).

There's just not really a healthy path to regular rotation minutes for more than 1 of those guys that I see?

If I was the Celtics I'd probably play a Jay at PF 40 minutes per night if they were down, which would open up another 12 minutes for that trio, but I don't think that's really likely.
 

Buster Olney the Lonely

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What do you all make of the “he needs to catch the ball high when coming off screens”? Isn’t that a product of the passer? Or does it mean that he’s not coming off screens fast enough?
 

JM3

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What do you all make of the “he needs to catch the ball high when coming off screens”? Isn’t that a product of the passer? Or does it mean that he’s not coming off screens fast enough?
I think that has to do with a player's footwork & aggressiveness coming to the ball to allow them to catch & shoot quicker and higher rather than letting the ball coming down to them & having to take the extra time to gather & bring it up.

Also, he tends to bring it down then back up rather than just keeping it up.
 

Cesar Crespo

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There are 240 minutes to be divided in an NBA game.

Assuming full health...

TL/Horford/Kanter 48
Tatum 35
Brown 35

That leaves 122 minutes for:

MS
DS
JR
PP
AN
RL
JH
GW

MS has played 27-33 minutes all 7 years in the league, including 33 last year.

DS has played 29-32 each of the last 5 seasons.

JR has played 30-35 each of the last 5 seasons.

Even if you bump those guys down to 80 total, that leaves 42 minutes for The other 5 guys combined.

Let's give the PFs 20 minutes to limit time the Jays have to spend at PF a bit during the regular season.

That leaves 22 minutes for PP + AN + RL.

Of course, assuming full health is unrealistic. They could play without a center (but they could also play with 2 centers).

There's just not really a healthy path to regular rotation minutes for more than 1 of those guys that I see?

If I was the Celtics I'd probably play a Jay at PF 40 minutes per night if they were down, which would open up another 12 minutes for that trio, but I don't think that's really likely.
Let's say you are right about mpg

TL, Horford and Kanter all play 70 games each. That's 12 games x 48 = 576 minutes of games due to rest/injury.
Tatum and Brown play 77 games. That's 35 minutes a game x 10 games =350 minutes
Let's be kind and assume Smart, JR and DS all play 77 games and average 85 minutes per game. That's 15 x 85 = 1275 minutes.

Now you have those 22 x 82 minutes you mentioned= 1804 minutes. Add the 576, 350, and 1275. That's 4005 minutes or 48.8 minutes per game. If you assume AN plays 75 games and 20 minutes per... that's only 1500 of those 4005 minutes. PP could also play 20 minutes per for 75 games. That would still leave 1005 minutes for RL. If he played 75 games, that's 13.4 minutes per game.

People constantly understate how many minutes are available to go around in the offseason, yet every season we see someone like Brad Wanamaker average 20 a game.

edit: Subtracting the players the C's got rid of during the 20/21 season, the players averaged 334.9 minutes per game... assuming they all played 82 games. Obviously they did not.
 
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Sprowl

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Judging by the 2021 seasons for both the Celtics and the Red Sox, multiple players are likely to miss long stretches of games due to the pandemic, beyond the normal attrition due to basketball injuries. Stevens appears to think that a team cannot have too much quality depth. Nesmith, Langford and Pritchard will all get chances to get hot.
 

JM3

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Right, in terms of total minutes I agree. But in terms of rotations until the inevitable wave of injuries/rest, I don't think there's many minutes yet.
 

mcpickl

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There's a lot more good than bad in those comments. The consensus seems to be that his floor is a 20-mpg 3-and-D guy who'll complement the Jays (and Horford) well.
I have little doubt he'll hit the 3 part, I have serious doubt he'll complement it with the D part of the equation.

He was really rough on D last year, and while that's to be expected from a very young inexperienced rookie, I don't think that was his biggest defensive issue.

He has real problems moving laterally. It was alarming watching ham-and-eggers blowing by him in summer league. Maybe he can work on it, but he's got a long way to go there. He is at least athletic and energetic on defense.

I'd honestly be happy if he turned out to be a shorter Davis Bertans. Just hit 40% of your threes when we throw you the ball, try your best to not get killed on D, and anything else we get from you would be a bonus.

On the higher end of development, I'd be rooting for him to turn into the third Bogdanovic in the league.
 

Cesar Crespo

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Right, in terms of total minutes I agree. But in terms of rotations until the inevitable wave of injuries/rest, I don't think there's many minutes yet.
Not even close. But during the regular season, teams don't stick to 8 man rotations and also tend to play it safe with regards to injuries.

Come the playoffs, AN won't be playing 20 minutes a game unless things have gone incredibly right... or incredibly wrong late in the season. Minutes could open up due to Kanter though.
 

JM3

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Not even close. But during the regular season, teams don't stick to 8 man rotations and also tend to play it safe with regards to injuries.

Come the playoffs, AN won't be playing 20 minutes a game unless things have gone incredibly right... or incredibly wrong late in the season. Minutes could open up due to Kanter though.
Yeah, I think we're on the same page.

That rotation I mentioned wasn't an 8-man rotation, though.

That was 3 centers, 2 Jays, 3 combo guards, & 2 PFs (10 guys) before even getting to the AN/PP/RL minutes.
 

Cesar Crespo

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I have little doubt he'll hit the 3 part, I have serious doubt he'll complement it with the D part of the equation.

He was really rough on D last year, and while that's to be expected from a very young inexperienced rookie, I don't think that was his biggest defensive issue.

He has real problems moving laterally. It was alarming watching ham-and-eggers blowing by him in summer league. Maybe he can work on it, but he's got a long way to go there. He is at least athletic and energetic on defense.

I'd honestly be happy if he turned out to be a shorter Davis Bertans. Just hit 40% of your threes when we throw you the ball, try your best to not get killed on D, and anything else we get from you would be a bonus.

On the higher end of development, I'd be rooting for him to turn into the third Bogdanovic in the league.

A lot of people say Middleton but I can't see Nesmith being the defender or playmaker Middleton is. Then again, Middleton is criminally underrated. Nesmith is further along in the shooting department at the same age. Middleton's rookie year wasn't the greatest and he didn't become that much of a playmaker until about his 4th season in the NBA. He did make a leap in his 2nd year, and another in year 4.
 

Cesar Crespo

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Yeah, I think we're on the same page.

That rotation I mentioned wasn't an 8-man rotation, though.

That was 3 centers, 2 Jays, 3 combo guards, & 2 PFs (10 guys) before even getting to the AN/PP/RL minutes.
I missed those 2 PFs but they don't impact my math any. It actually leaves more minutes available as the 2 PFs aren't playing 82 games each either. I'm guessing they are Grant Williams and Hernangomez. I also think we may see more of TL/AL than people think, meaning more than 48 minutes for the TL/Al/Kanter trio.
 

JM3

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I missed those 2 PFs but they don't impact my math any. It actually leaves more minutes available as the 2 PFs aren't playing 82 games each either. I'm guessing they are Grant Williams and Hernangomez. I also think we may see more of TL/AL than people think, meaning more than 48 minutes for the TL/Al/Kanter trio.
Eh, you'd probably expect them to play 1,600+ minutes between them. Grant played 1,138 for the Celtics last year & JH played 900 for the Wolves.

But yeah, minutes are weird. We had 21 players play for us last year. Pritchard led the team in games played at 66 of 72 & Semi got 950 minutes.
 

teddykgb

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I have little doubt he'll hit the 3 part, I have serious doubt he'll complement it with the D part of the equation.

He was really rough on D last year, and while that's to be expected from a very young inexperienced rookie, I don't think that was his biggest defensive issue.

He has real problems moving laterally. It was alarming watching ham-and-eggers blowing by him in summer league. Maybe he can work on it, but he's got a long way to go there. He is at least athletic and energetic on defense.

I'd honestly be happy if he turned out to be a shorter Davis Bertans. Just hit 40% of your threes when we throw you the ball, try your best to not get killed on D, and anything else we get from you would be a bonus.

On the higher end of development, I'd be rooting for him to turn into the third Bogdanovic in the league.
I think you can still squint and hope for Duncan Robinson in the playoffs against Celtics where Spolestra hid him as a F in a zone and let him be a shooter. Shot would need to go up a level but he rebounds well and took charges. Like you he seems glacially slow side to side to me and so he probably gets beat plenty playing man to man out to the line
 

Eddie Jurak

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There are 240 minutes to be divided in an NBA game.

Assuming full health...

TL/Horford/Kanter 48
Tatum 35
Brown 35

That leaves 122 minutes for:

MS
DS
JR
PP
AN
RL
JH
GW

MS has played 27-33 minutes all 7 years in the league, including 33 last year.

DS has played 29-32 each of the last 5 seasons.

JR has played 30-35 each of the last 5 seasons.

Even if you bump those guys down to 80 total, that leaves 42 minutes for The other 5 guys combined.

Let's give the PFs 20 minutes to limit time the Jays have to spend at PF a bit during the regular season.

That leaves 22 minutes for PP + AN + RL.

Of course, assuming full health is unrealistic. They could play without a center (but they could also play with 2 centers).

There's just not really a healthy path to regular rotation minutes for more than 1 of those guys that I see?

If I was the Celtics I'd probably play a Jay at PF 40 minutes per night if they were down, which would open up another 12 minutes for that trio, but I don't think that's really likely.
Here's my stab at it.

Williams/Horford/Kanter 48
Brown and Tatum: 64 (32 each, Celtics will use their depth to keep minutes down)

That leaves 128.

Smart 30
Schroeder 28 (6th man)
Richardson 26 (coming off a down year)

That leaves 44 for everyone else. (Pritchard, Nesmith, Langford, Grant, Hernangomez)

Plenty of time, especially once injuries are factored in, but not everyone will be happy with their roles.
 

radsoxfan

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Yes, a lot of good stuff in there especially with WC2 talking about the thinking vs reacting which I always preach for young players.
I am 90% sure you are WC1, HRB.

Western Conference Scout 1: “I guess I don’t see what everyone else does. Sure, he shot pretty good on open ones. But he HAS to do that. Otherwise, he’s not in the league. He can’t dribble. His passing instincts are terrible. His size is fine, but he’s not some amazing leaper and he doesn’t get way up on his jumpers. Also, watch him coming off screens. He always catches the ball too low and it takes him too long to get into his shots. I’d be working with him catching it higher and right into his release. Good open shooter, but not much else.”


Some mixed opinions, but overall seem like reasonable takes. The one true consensus is that he needs to improve his handle to reach anything close to his potential. Hopefully he goes to the Jaylen school of ball handing improvement.
 

HomeRunBaker

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A lot of people say Middleton but I can't see Nesmith being the defender or playmaker Middleton is. Then again, Middleton is criminally underrated. Nesmith is further along in the shooting department at the same age. Middleton's rookie year wasn't the greatest and he didn't become that much of a playmaker until about his 4th season in the NBA. He did make a leap in his 2nd year, and another in year 4.
Middleton got into the league not due to his 3-point shooting but with his ability to get to his spots off the dribble and into the lane. He built his perimeter game after he got into the league. He had the handle, footwork and quickness to offset him being a 26% 3-point shooter his senior year at A&M. Those are traits that Nesmith physically does not have which is any I have his ceiling capped much lower than many here.
 

HomeRunBaker

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I am 90% sure you are WC1, HRB.

Western Conference Scout 1: “I guess I don’t see what everyone else does. Sure, he shot pretty good on open ones. But he HAS to do that. Otherwise, he’s not in the league. He can’t dribble. His passing instincts are terrible. His size is fine, but he’s not some amazing leaper and he doesn’t get way up on his jumpers. Also, watch him coming off screens. He always catches the ball too low and it takes him too long to get into his shots. I’d be working with him catching it higher and right into his release. Good open shooter, but not much else.”


Some mixed opinions, but overall seem like reasonable takes. The one true consensus is that he needs to improve his handle to reach anything close to his potential. Hopefully he goes to the Jaylen school of ball handing improvement.
Yeah that’s the one I meant. Sorry. It’s kinda eerie reading someone else with that report. Borderline creepy. He later mentions what I always preach about thinking on the floor rather than being able to react yet.
 

HomeRunBaker

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How about Pritchard? I think one of the young players will have a sizable role in the rotation, and while we might prefer more length in the abstract, I suspect that PP has the inside track on it.
In my lineup of Schroeder starting I’d have Pritchard as a reg on the backend of the second unit. If the rumors are true about Smart starting with Schroeder off the bench (which makes zero sense on so many levels I could write 5k words on it….but I digress) then Pritchard will likely be the odd man out of the rotation.
 

Jimbodandy

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Middleton got into the league not due to his 3-point shooting but with his ability to get to his spots off the dribble and into the lane. He built his perimeter game after he got into the league. He had the handle, footwork and quickness to offset him being a 26% 3-point shooter his senior year at A&M. Those are traits that Nesmith physically does not have which is any I have his ceiling capped much lower than many here.
I don't quite get your bearishness on him. His footwork is sloppy and his handle is rudimentary. Neither of those problems are hard ceilings imo. He has size and length and acceptable athleticism (certainly not plus, but fine). His motor is excellent. Learning to drive a closeout or just step around a closeout with 2 dribbles for an auto 15 footer is not hard. Learning to slide his feet is child's play with a modicum of professional coaching.

I don't see an all star either, but you don't have to squint hard to see a productive rotation player.
 

radsoxfan

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I don't see an all star either, but you don't have to squint hard to see a productive rotation player.
I agree. Romeo and Grant are the ones who require some serious squinting.

Nesmith was up and down for sure, but I at least see some building blocks.
 

128

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I don't quite get your bearishness on him. His footwork is sloppy and his handle is rudimentary. Neither of those problems are hard ceilings imo. He has size and length and acceptable athleticism (certainly not plus, but fine). His motor is excellent. Learning to drive a closeout or just step around a closeout with 2 dribbles for an auto 15 footer is not hard. Learning to slide his feet is child's play with a modicum of professional coaching.

I don't see an all star either, but you don't have to squint hard to see a productive rotation player.
At this point, HRB is just doubling down, I think.
 

Eddie Jurak

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Floor: 3 & ~D guy
Ceiling 3! & D guy
That seems about right and is not terrible.
In my lineup of Schroeder starting I’d have Pritchard as a reg on the backend of the second unit. If the rumors are true about Smart starting with Schroeder off the bench (which makes zero sense on so many levels I could write 5k words on it….but I digress) then Pritchard will likely be the odd man out of the rotation.
I actually think Schroeder off the bench makes perfect sense.

1. He's here for one year to set himself up for a long-term deal that the Celtics cannot give him because of the salary cap rules (no Bird rights).
2. If he has a good year he will have real value at the deadline, because there will be some team out there that needs a PG and he my be the best available. The Celtics will have a strong incentive to trade him since he's gone after the season anyway.
3. He's at his best as high usage guy. In 5 seasons with usage at or above 27, his OBPM was 1.2, -0.3, 1.1, 1.1, -0.1. In 2 seasons with usage below 25, his OBPMs were much worse: -1.1, -1.3 (we'll ignore his horrific rookie year).
4. The highest usage Celtics are and should be Tatum and Brown, not Schroder. You don't want Schroder burning possessions that they could use. While playing with them, he needs to be more of a pass first complementary player, which is not his strength - and likely not what he wants to be doing, given that he is playing for a contract or trade.
5. On the other hand, he's the obvious guy to run the bench unit. He thrives in a high usage role, and with especially Tatum on the bench the Celtics need someone to use possessions. He runs a shit ton of pick and roll, and the Celtics have 3 centers who can do that (Williams and Kanter to roll and Horford for a five-out pick and pop look), so Schroder can work with whichever center is out with the bench unit.

People who think Smart shoots too much are not going to be happy to see Schroder taking possessions away from Tatum. Smart's career usage rate is 17.5%, Schroder's is 26.5%. Smart's career shots per 36 is 11 (6 threes), Schroder's is 17 (5 threes). Schroder is a slightly better 3 point shooter (career .337 vs Smart's .320; past 3 years .355 vs Smart's .348).

The way you keep Schroder happy and willing to play third-fiddle when he shares the floor with Tatum and Brown is to let him run the bench unit and really turn him loose in those bench minutes. So he fits best as a 6th man on this team.
 

benhogan

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At this point, HRB is just doubling down, I think.
Yep. He always has a strong opinion (being ALL IN is more fun) and rarely comes off them. In fairness, others and myself are also guilty of that.

Eastern Conference Scout 2: “It was a real slow start for him. He looked lost in those first few games. After missing so much time at Vanderbilt, he could have used a Summer League and a real training camp. There were games were Brad (Stevens) and the vets were pointing him where to go. But once he figured it out, he got going.
Former Scout 2: “I always say ‘Talk to me after Year 3’ before we make a decision on a kid. Right now, Nesmith hustles. He can shoot. Can he defend enough for a 3&D player? We’ll see.


AN got thrown into the deep end after missing over half his last year at Vandy, off-season surgery, no SL/camp, barely any practices during the season. Of course, he was processing on the floor, most rookies do, but COVID made it 10x worse. This is the same stuff we heard on Rob Williams years 1, 2, and the start of last season: deer in headlights, lost on the court, space cadet, overreacts, jumpy, bad fundamentals. AN is somewhat raw, but he possesses the most important +++skill of the modern NBA, 3pt shooting.

Last season was a dreadful environment, yet he shot 37% from 3, it's really not a stretch (or squint) to see him at 40% on greater volume this season. Combine that with his hustle and you have a productive rotation player to create space for the JAYS. This team will need complimentary 3pt shooting with so much PT given to TL, Marcus, DS, JRich. Expect Nesmith/PP to have roles/rotation minutes.
 
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TripleOT

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Thanks to Keith Smith for conjuring up some Celtics content. This Scout’s View feature is a great idea.

I’m bullish on Nesmith turning into more than a 3 and D role player, but that as a floor can be a nice career next to the Jays. A better roster is going to push him to get the mental aspects down a lot better than his rookie season, which he should be able to do. 12 ppg on 40% long distance shooting, while playing better defense would be a solid second season
 

pjheff

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In my lineup of Schroeder starting I’d have Pritchard as a reg on the backend of the second unit. If the rumors are true about Smart starting with Schroeder off the bench (which makes zero sense on so many levels I could write 5k words on it….but I digress) then Pritchard will likely be the odd man out of the rotation.
Regardless of who starts, I could see a lot of minutes where Marcus is playing alongside another guard like Schroder or Pritchard. Barring injury, significant minutes seem pretty much guaranteed to RWilliams / Horford / Tatum / Brown / Richardson / Smart / Schroder, and while I don’t expect Udoka to commit to an eight-man rotation, I do think there will be a more consistent role for one of Pritchard / Nesmith / Hernangomez. And though we might prefer more size, I suspect that Pritchard’s shooting gives him the inside track.

12 ppg on 40% long distance shooting, while playing better defense would be a solid second season
”Solid” seems to be underselling the type of improvement that he would need to demonstrate to reach that level of production consistently on this squad. Those numbers are in the neighborhood of what Evan Fournier was giving us last year. Nesmith was only averaging 4.7 points in the 46 games he could get run.
 
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HomeRunBaker

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At this point, HRB is just doubling down, I think.
There’s no doubling. Nothing really changed. He’s still a pretty good shooter and still pretty bad at some other physical skills which are more difficult to improve upon (like the ones mentioned upthread that claim are simple against NBA players…..which aren’t).
 

Jimbodandy

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There’s no doubling. Nothing really changed. He’s still a pretty good shooter and still pretty bad at some other physical skills which are more difficult to improve upon (like the ones mentioned upthread that claim are simple against NBA players…..which aren’t).
Which ones are hard to learn? Sliding his feet on D and an escape dribble?

You can coach size and length. He has those. His bounce, while not plus, is not Grant either. The things that you can't coach he has.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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They aren't exactly glowing though, especially if that's his ceiling. Sure we will take it, but it's a guy who we don't re up after his rookie deal.
If AN is hitting 40% of his 3Ps, the only way he doesn't get re-upped is if he gets another team to outbid the Cs.
Last season was a dreadful environment, yet he shot 37% from 3, it's really not a stretch (or squint) to see him at 40% on greater volume this season. Combine that with his hustle and you have a productive rotation player to create space for the JAYS. This team will need complimentary 3pt shooting with so much PT given to TL, Marcus, DS, JRich. Expect Nesmith/PP to have roles/rotation minutes.
Yeah, I don't get that scout. Sure, if AN couldn't shoot, he wouldn't be in the NBA. But you know what? If RW couldn't jump he wouldn't be in the NBA and if RL couldn't defend, he very well might have been. Yeah, if a player doesn't have a NBA skill he's not going to be in the NBA but it looks like AN has a NBA skill, and it's currently the most valuable one going.

I agree with everyone that AN is likely never going to be a plus defender as his lateral quickness isn't great but he's long, he gives effort, and how much of a liability he will be there will probably depend on what teammates he's playing with. He does play decent help defense though. I personally think he'll be okay but it would be hard to argue with people who think he'll be less than that.

On offense, he can shoot. We all agree. He also needs a better handle but his shot is effective enough to open up the floor for him. He's not going to have a ton of chances to show it but I'm sure he'll keep working.

A 3+/D- guy is still pretty valuable in the NBA and probably even more valuable to this year Cs who have more D+ guys than last year but certainly could use more shooting.

It's funny that Khris Middleton is more bullish on AN than we are. :)
 

benhogan

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Which ones are hard to learn? Sliding his feet on D and an escape dribble?

You can coach size and length. He has those. His bounce, while not plus, is not Grant either. The things that you can't coach he has.
consistency, effort & willingness (= hustle) make up a lot of defense, even at the professional level. AN also isn't a shrinking flower on D, when he gets beat, he aggressively goes after his guy by blocking or fouling. Not ideal, but he won't give in, which is the right attitude. We've also seen him stick his nose under the basket to battle for boards. He has the length to disrupt passing lanes and challenge perimeter shots. Lastly, he is intelligent and recognizes defensive competency will get him minutes

All of this will make him passable on defense. If people want to nitpick on his shuttle times, great ding his combine #s. BUT if he shoots 40% from 3, on volume, he becomes a top 9 rotation player for the C's.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Which ones are hard to learn? Sliding his feet on D and an escape dribble?

You can coach size and length. He has those. His bounce, while not plus, is not Grant either. The things that you can't coach he has.
Increasing physical skills such as foot speed and agility is extremely difficult. He’ll never be plus in this area and as others have mentioned has work to do to reach passable. Handle is another physical skill which has growth limitations. His instincts on the floor are pretty awful. This should improve over the years if he slows the game down which is something that is easier to accomplish than getting to his spots with the dribble as there is a large mental component to this which can improve with time.

The easiest skill for a young player to improve upon is one where he already has a good base. He needs to improve the areas that are more difficult to get to average in those areas. This is what the scout is referring to by saying if he couldn’t shoot it he wouldn’t be in the league being so poor in these other areas……whereas if someone was fine in those areas and couldn’t shoot they would have the ability to get better at the easiest skill to improve.
 

nighthob

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Given how many players that we’ve said “If only he could shoot…” about, as Celtic fans, I’m not sure how easy it is to learn to shoot. Most guys never get more than passable at uncontested spot threes from the corner.
 

Jimbodandy

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I think that we've seen a lot of guys improve their shot in the league, at least since the vast majority of actual prospects hit the league now at 19 instead of 21/22. It's certainly a hell of a lot easier to develop that than to get taller, longer, or significantly bouncier anyway. Some guys do learn to shoot better, some don't.

But we've also seen guys improve their handle in the league, many on our own team (Brown, Tatum, and Rozier come to mind as recent examples), so I'm not sure why we think that's impossible. Of course Semi never really did learn how to drive a closeout, so it's not a guarantee. Some do, some don't.

FWIW, I don't think that lateral movement, bounce, or length are really problems for Nesmith. He has crappy defensive instincts and as bad footwork as you'll ever see. I coached 8th graders that had better technique at sliding their feet. That's not rocket science. I think that he'll improve. And the road for him to get from what he was at season's end to 20min rotation guy seems pretty short to me. Not everyone will agree of course (those scouts in the piece above are kinda all over the place themselves). If one has a bias towards pessimism on kids, then maybe they'll be proven right by assuming the worst about AN (or RL for that matter). Hell, I'm still unconvinced that TL can stay on the court for more than 50 games, so I'm guilty of it too.
 

HomeRunBaker

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I think that we've seen a lot of guys improve their shot in the league, at least since the vast majority of actual prospects hit the league now at 19 instead of 21/22. It's certainly a hell of a lot easier to develop that than to get taller, longer, or significantly bouncier anyway. Some guys do learn to shoot better, some don't.
Agreed. The way the game is played today someone who isn’t a natural shooter only needs to be a spot-up guy to complement the other parts of his game that got him to the league. Spot-up 3-point shooting is the easiest learnable skill for an NBA player. That doesn’t mean everyone can do it but with the commitment and work ethic along with today’s teaching tools most should be able to effectively become a threat from 3.

But we've also seen guys improve their handle in the league, many on our own team (Brown, Tatum, and Rozier come to mind as recent examples), so I'm not sure why we think that's impossible. Of course Semi never really did learn how to drive a closeout, so it's not a guarantee. Some do, some don't.
Each of those players had the physical skills to beat their man off the dribble even when they were raw. Nesmith’s ability to beat his man off the dribble isn’t in the same stratosphere as these three you mention even when they first entered the league. Tightening your handle is one thing but it doesn’t suddenly make you able to get to your spots if you couldn’t already do it prior to tightening your handle. Handle has nothing to do with foot speed and quickness.

FWIW, I don't think that lateral movement, bounce, or length are really problems for Nesmith. He has crappy defensive instincts and as bad footwork as you'll ever see. I coached 8th graders that had better technique at sliding their feet. That's not rocket science. I think that he'll improve.
Lateral movement is an enormous problem for his defense. Aside from his awful instincts, his technique is bad because he isn’t able to keep guys in front of him without crossing over. If you put him in a gym against 5 Soshers, his defensive technique would be perfect since he wouldn’t need to overextend himself. Put him out there against college players and he’ll look ok except struggle with his footwork against the blurs. Now have him defend starting NBA wings and his footwork is a disaster because he’s forced to overextend his foot speed. The problem isn’t that he doesn’t know the techniques……the problem is his feet are too slow for him to use the techniques properly against quick players.

Keep in mind that this is a player I liked coming out of Vanderbilt. Yes, I soured quickly once he was on the floor and his shortcomings were quickly apparent but my evaluation is not biased at all…..if it was I’d be overly optimistic as I supported the pick at the time.
 
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lovegtm

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Agreed. The way the game is played today someone who isn’t a natural shooter only needs to be a spot-up guy to complement the other parts of his game that got him to the league. Spot-up 3-point shooting is the easiest learnable skill for an NBA player. That doesn’t mean everyone can do it but with the commitment and work ethic along with today’s teaching tools most should be able to effectively become a threat from 3.


Each of those players had the physical skills to beat their man off the dribble even when they were raw. Nesmith’s ability to beat his man off the dribble isn’t in the same stratosphere as these three you mention even when they first entered the league. Tightening your handle is one thing but it doesn’t suddenly make you able to get to your spots if you couldn’t already do it prior to tightening your handle. Handle has nothing to do with foot speed and quickness.


Lateral movement is an enormous problem for his defense. Aside from his awful instincts, his technique is bad because he isn’t able to keep guys in front of him without crossing over. If you put him in a gym against 5 Soshers, his defensive technique would be perfect since he wouldn’t need to overextend himself. Put him out there against college players and he’ll look ok except struggle with his footwork against the blurs. Now have him defend starting NBA wings and his footwork is a disaster because he’s forced to overextend his foot speed. The problem isn’t that he doesn’t know the techniques……the problem is his feet are too slow for him to use the techniques properly against quick players.

Keep in mind that this is a player I liked coming out of Vanderbilt. Yes, I soured quickly once he was on the floor and his shortcomings were quickly apparent but my evaluation is not biased at all…..if it was I’d be overly optimistic as I supported the pick at the time.
It really is going to come down to "can Romeo learn to hit spot-up 3s" vs "can Nesmith improve his defensive footwork." Whichever of them (if either) accomplishes that is going to get a lot of minutes, and will languish on the bench otherwise.
 

lovegtm

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”Solid” seems to be underselling the type of improvement that he would need to demonstrate to reach that level of production consistently on this squad. Those numbers are in the neighborhood of what Evan Fournier was giving us last year. Nesmith was only averaging 4.7 points in the 46 games he could get run.
Young guys are pretty binary: they improve or they don't. If they do, they quickly reach levels that would have been uncomfortable to predict the year prior. If they don't, they are out of the league.

A Nesmith who improves on D and is a plus shooter absolutely would give the production that Fournier did last year. A Nesmith who doesn't is garbage and won't play much at all.