Boston Celtics Draft Targets: Aaron Nesmith

The Boston Celtics are going to have a busy night ahead of them. Whether Danny Ainge moves up in the draft or trades Gordon Hayward, something’s going to happen. Or, it could be like every other year, and the Celtics make zero moves and use all their draft picks. That would be a nightmare, but if I’ve learned one thing as a Celtics fan, it’s never to get your hopes up.

If Boston decides to stand pat and hold on to their draft picks, I believe the Celtics should take a look at Aaron Nesmith with one of their three first-round picks.

The best way to describe Aaron Nesmith is that he’s a walking bucket. Nesmith averaged 23 points and 5 rebounds his sophomore year at Vanderbilt on 51/52/82 shooting splits. No matter which way you look at it, this kid knows how to score.

Nesmith is arguably the best shooter in the draft. Whether it’s a catch-and-shoot three or he’s creating his own shot off the dribble, he finds a way to get the ball in the basket. And when he’s not shooting the ball, he’s bursting past his defenders and finishing strong at the rim. His athleticism allows him to throw it down and even poster a defender or two.

Besides his endless abilities to score the basketball, Nesmith is also a competent defender. His size and athletic ability allow him to be an above-average perimeter defender, while he has the potential to grow into a superb 3-and-D player.

The biggest red flag with Aaron Nesmith is a foot injury that sidelined him back in January. Several teams are concerned about the injury because it is slow to heal. Teams that have later picks in the draft are preparing for Nesmith to fall if this injury is that great of a concern.

With that being said, I’d take Nesmith with the 26th or 30th pick in a heartbeat. I wouldn’t think twice about it. When Nesmith is healthy, he’s a problem. And that’s a problem I want to have on the Boston Celtics. This past season, Nesmith scored over 30 points twice and over 20 points seven times while only playing in 14 games. He also never scored less than 14 points in a game.

To sum it all up, Aaron Nesmith might be the biggest sleeper in this draft and could be the biggest steal of the draft. He’s arguably the best shooter in the draft and has shown he’s much more than a shooter, too. I think Nesmith will be special in the NBA, and I would love it if he started his career as a member of the Boston Celtics.


Photo: Julie Bennett, Associated Press

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