Aaron Nesmith is a 6’6 213 pound Small Forward out of Vanderbilt University. Aaron is a high PPG guy that can basically only shoot but he’s super efficient. Vandy saw a big improvement from Aaron from his freshman year to his sophomore year, in his freshman campaign Aaron averaged 11.0 PPG, 1.4 APG, 5.5 RPG, on 39% from the field and 34% from deep. Here is why he’s projected to be a late lottery pick in the upcoming 2020 NBA Draft is his commitment to improve and his ability to improve. In his Sophomore year at Vandy Aaron averaged 23.0, 4.9 RPG, 0.9, on 51% from the field, and 52% from downtown. As you can see the improvement was shown and if a NBA team could help him reach his full potential with playmaking this kid can be very scary but there are major flaws but when he plays to his strengths any team could use him.
Strengths: As I mentioned above, Aaron’s commitment to improving will intrigue teams to pick him because they know he can improve and he will give you the outcome you want. Let’s start off with the main reason teams will be picking him, his Elite 3 Point Shooting and Aaron could be considered the best longball shooter in this draft. He can give you efficient shooting off screens and moving shots. At Vanderbuilt he played under Jerry Stackhouse and they played a motion heavy offense that gave Aaron a lot of good looks on offense and he’ll be able to adapt to any NBA offense because of who he played under in college. Aaron knows how to read a defense and get himself open because he always needed to be on his toes in a fast moving offense. His dribbling skills aren’t the greatest but Aaron can give you the one, two punch and pull and that’s about it, after 2 dribbles he doesn’t have the skill set to do a lot more than that. It’s supremely important to note that Aaron is one of the best prospects scouts have seen that are that good off ball, he has the awareness off ball that nobody has, he has great timing and the ability to make life easier for his PG. Now Aaron is jacked and has the perfect size for the modern day forward, 6’6. 213 lbs, with a 6’10 wingspan, and a very good frame. Another way that Aaron improved from Freshman to Sophomore that doesn’t show up in the stat sheet is his defensive playmaking, and you’re probably like, “what in the blue moon is defensive playmaking?” Well it means that they make an impact on the defensive end that others don’t and create opportunities on the offensive side from there defense. For example, when someone jumps a passing lane they’ll have an advantage and create an easy transition basket. Aaron is not that great of an on-ball defender and doesn’t really have the speed to catch faster forwards but he does have a high motor and won’t let anyone who blows past him have an easy bucket and will never give up on a play no matter how beat he is. Aaron has great defensive potential and is already an above average defensive player but can improve. Aaron shines as a team defender, knows when to help and is not afraid of contesting anyone at the rim, now he won’t necessarily block the shot but he’ll give it a good contest.
Weaknesses: Now I’m just going to be more in depth on the weaknesses that I stated in the Strengths category. Firstly, Aaron gets occasionally blown by and that’s mainly because he gets caught flat footed which makes it hard to change speed or direction quickly. Now something we haven’t touched on and that is Aaron’s finishing and he isn’t that good at the rim because he doesn’t know how to use his body and lacks the explosiveness to finish over the more athletic types of Centers. Another point on his finishing is that he lacks the creativity at the rim, Aaron rarely uses a spin move, or a euro step, he doesn’t have any moves to give him a more open shot around the hoop. When it comes to Aaron’s ball handling he looks like me trying to dribble. Aaron gets caught looking down a lot when he dribbles and doesn’t have any moves to shift a half decent defender. As you can see from his APG he doesn’t know what passing looks like and he’s not a ball hog he just doesn’t pass the ball to open guys that will give him assists. Aaron gets tunnel vision going downhill and becomes unaware of where his teammates are on the court. Now coming into next season, whatever team drafts Aaron will have to worry about his recent foot injury from January and if the season wasn’t cancelled Aaron wouldn’t have played. Right now is Aaron’s foot fine? Well we don’t know that and that has to be concerning if you’re a late lottery team.
Verdict: Aaron Nesmith can be one of the league premier shooters but has the potential to be a great all around player, his weaknesses are more recognizable than most players in this draft. My current NBA comparison is Danny Green solely based on the shooting and both are very efficient and both can make an impact on both sides of the ball.