Despite all the buzz surrounding the Celtics moving up in the NBA draft or potentially packaging picks and players (Gordon Hayward) to swing some sort of mega deal, the Celtics do what they and most other teams often do on draft night.
They stayed put and made their picks.
At 14 they selected Vanderbilt wing Aaron Nesmith, a pure shooter dubbed by many as the best in the class.
Here’s what the experts are saying about the pick.
Aaron Nesmith – Wing, Vanderbilt
Vanderbilt head coach Jerry Stackhouse compared him to renowned Celtics killer Kris Middleton.
“We compare him to Khris Middleton,’’ Stackhouse told the New York Post. “He’s perfect for the wing spot. He has the size. He has the strength and in addition to being a shooter, he is dedicated to the defensive side as well.”
The Athletic’s Sam Vecenie described Nesmith as a “lights out shooter” who’s is great coming off screens.
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 Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor did not have Nesmith as the top available player at 14 but still believes it was a good pick for the Celtics.
Aaron Nesmith arguably has the best jumper in the class. Total flamethrower. Nice pick for the Celtics, I’d bet on him carving out a rotation spot pretty early in his career—unlike some of Boston’s developmental picks in recent drafts.
John Hollinger had Nesmith rated as the 11th best overall prospect in the draft, again, because of his ability to shoot. Hollinger also compred Nesmith to a player the Celtics coveted and just missed out on in last year’s draft.
When I watched Tyler Herro at Kentucky last year, I thought that was the thing that differentiated him and made him a good pick — that he had the ability to shoot on the move really well. Nesmith clearly has that. You see him just come right off screens, the footwork is perfect, he just lets it fly, perfect parabola into the bottom of the net. Now is he gonna shoot 52% from 3 over a larger sample? Probably not. I mean, he didn’t shoot that well as a freshman. But he shot 3s at a really high rate on a bad team where defenses were keying on him.”