By Matthew Geagan, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) – For the second year in a row, the Boston Celtics used the 14th pick overall in the NBA Draft. But unlike last year’s pick, this year’s pick feels like he could have an immediate impact on the squad.
Romeo Langford was a development pick for Danny Ainge in 2019, and the young guard hasn’t done much for the Celtics as a rookie. This probably won’t be the case for the 14th pick in the 2020 NBA Draft – small forward Aaron Nesmith – who took down a ton of shots in his two seasons at Vanderbilt.
Looks like Nesmith can step in and do the same on the Boston bench in 2020-21, and the 21-year-old agrees.
“[I’m an] absolute sniper. A guy who will make life easier for the creators of the offense like Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Kemba Walker, ”Nesmith told reporters in Boston after being drafted. “A guy who will always be there, will work hard and earn his stripes and do it on both sides of the floor.”
Looks like he’s brimming with confidence, which is what a team expects from a kid who’ll have to reverse shots. Nesmith said he’s going to do a lot of work on the defensive side of the pitch as well.
“I want to be tall. I want to be the best player I can be, so that includes defense. I will give everything and do my best for this side of the field and with my height, my length and my athleticism, I will be able to keep several positions, ”he said.
Ainge said the Celtics were targeting Nesmith and were lucky he was available at No.14. The sniper should be able to bring points to the 2020-21 Boston Celtics, who will be welcomed with open arms. by Brad Stevens and everyone on the list. Here’s everything you need to know about one of the Celtics’ new members:
Nesmith is 6 feet 6 inches tall and weighs 216 pounds. He has a 6-foot-10 wingspan, which should help his cause on the defensive end of the field.
The early years
Nesmith was the South Carolina Gatorade Player of the Year after averaging 21 points and 4.5 rebounds as a senior at Porter-Gaud School in Charleston.
The swingman only played 14 games last season due to a foot injury (we’ll talk about that in a moment), but he put up some monster numbers for the Commodores. Nesmith averaged 23 points per game on 51% of shots, hitting 52% of his shots from deep.
He improved his shooting a lot last season
Those are pretty garish shooting percentages, and they were a big improvement over his first season. Over 32 games in 2018-19 (just 19 starts), Nesmith has reached 39% overall – 47% on two and just 33% on a three-point field.
Then he came out and made 60 of his 115 trebles in his sophomore, increasing his downtown shooting percentage by almost 20 points. This made him one of the most efficient shooters in all of college basketball.
He’s also pretty solid on the line, hitting 82.5% in his two college seasons. Don’t expect him to take a lot of freebies, as he’s only attempted 3.1 per game in his two years at Vandy.
He can strike from anywhere in the city center
All. Or. He wasn’t called “the best marksman in the draft” for nothing.
Pick # 14: Aaron Nesmith, Boston Celtics
Ranking among the nation’s most prolific offscreen and spot goal scorers, he averaged 1.639 points per catch and jump shot in the half court. [100th percentile].
– NBA.com/Stats (@nbastats) November 19, 2020
Nesmith is an absolute flamethrower who will help space the floor of the Boston bench.
“He could beat most of our guys right now,” Ainge said after the draft. “Well, Jayson Tatum might have something to say about it.”
Nesmith may have only played 14 games in sophomore, but he’s scored 20 or more points in nine of those contests. He scored a career-high 34 points in an overtime loss to Richmond, making 12 of his 18 shots and five of his six three-point attempts. He hit four threes in a row in 99 seconds in the loss.
He lost 34 points again six weeks later in a win over UNC Wilmington, reaching seven of his 10 three-point offers.
Ok, now we’re going to get to the big concern. Nesmith only played 14 games last season due to a broken foot that ended his year in January. He had surgery 10 months ago and said he was in perfect health before the draft, but the injury may have scared some teams on Wednesday:
Several NBA teams with the top 20 picks have concerns about Vanderbilt sniper Aaron Nesmith’s right foot. These teams fear that Nesmith’s foot, which he injured in January, is slow to heal. The teams that choose later in the 1st round are preparing in case Nesmith slips tonight.
– Ryan McDonough (@McDNBA) November 18, 2020
Foot injuries are always a concern, but it doesn’t look like the Celtics will see it as a major concern.
Hard worker – and not just in the field
Brad Stevens called Nesmith a gym rat, but the kid doesn’t just work out on floor. He is also quite active outside, thanks to his father.
Aaron Nesmith can drive a tractor, has built several chicken coops and dug several ponds, and his dad made him cut trees 12 hours a day, so he’s perfect.
– Ben Rohrbach (@brohrbach) November 19, 2020
He’s new to Twitter
Nesmith heard about this new thing called Twitter and decided to join in the fun on Wednesday.
I thought today would be a good day for tweeting. It’s draft day! 🙌🏾
– aaron nesmith (@ aaronnesmith24) November 18, 2020
Nesmith is not ready for Weird Celtics Twitter. Maybe he should stay out of his new app for a while.
Same tailor as Paul Pierce?
Nesmith wore a green plaid suit for the draft, which will obviously appeal to Celtics fans. This costume looked a little familiar too.
– David Cohen (@David_A_Cohen) November 19, 2020
It’s not an exact match, but it’s pretty close. This can only mean that Nesmith’s number will one day hang in the TD Garden as well.
His brother will be nearby
Nesmith’s older brother Eddie is expected to attend Harvard University medical school.