Ex-Boston Celtics lottery pick signs extension with new team

Boston Celtics (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
Boston Celtics (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /

According to a report on October 23 by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, a former No. 14 overall selection by the Boston Celtics, Aaron Nesmith, put pen to paper on a new three-year deal with the Indiana Pacers.

The former Vanderbilt wing played two seasons in green and white before being included in the trade for Malcolm Brogdon last summer. During that time with the Celts, the 41% three-point shooter in college started in just four games. On a ball club in a completely different position than Boston, Nesmith began on the court in 60 of the 73 contests he competed in for Indiana.

He had all the tools to be a solid role player in the NBA. It just didn’t work out on the east coast. Sam Hauser has essentially become what Brad Stevens and the organization thought their first-round pick in 2020 was going to be. At six-foot-six with a six-foot-10 wingspan, the former No. 26 in Boston turned his career around with the Pacers.

His work ethic was never questioned. Defensively, Nesmith left it all out there. Arguably his most notable moment for the Celts was in Game 1 of the 2022 Eastern Conference Finals when he denied Caleb Martin at the rim with Miami out on a 3-on-1 fast break. In just 11 minutes that night in southern Florida, the former Vandy man amassed three rejections and a steal. That was his time green summed up.

His shot was never consistently a threat as the ball club thought it would be. In 98 games for Boston, Nesmith shot under 32% from the great beyond. His effort was incredible and something every Celtics fan appreciated. Almost everyone in the C’s organization will be glad to see a hard-nosed player like the South Carolina native take steps to advance his career.

Aaron Nesmith’s work ethic gets rewarded after failing to find a role with the Boston Celtics

He began to find his offense following the trade to Naptown, finishing the campaign averaging just over 10 points per game. Combine that with his attention to detail defensively, and you have a quality asset. With Bruce Brown coming into the team after winning a title in Denver, Nesmith’s minutes may decrease.

The likely situation is he will slot behind 2023 first-rounder Jarace Walker, and Obi Toppin in the Indiana power forward depth chart. Even with that, this is a sign of belief from the Pacers in a player who made an impact in just one season. No matter what he is handed right out the gate, No. 23 will work to make himself a solid contributor on a potential fringe postseason team.