As the 2020 NBA Draft draws closer, many of the top prospects have a general idea of where they will be selected. For others, it is much less clear. This holds especially true for Vanderbilt standout Aaron Nesmith. The 6’6″ forward had a very promising college career and is now hoping to make it in the NBA. With his college season cut short, Nesmith will be more determined than ever to prove he has what it takes to make it at the next level.
2020 NBA Draft Profile for Aaron Nesmith
As a four-star recruit out of high school, Nesmith had his fair share of offers for where to continue his basketball career. He received offers from some of the top programs in the nation including Florida, Harvard, and Virginia Tech. Nesmith ultimately decided that Vanderbilt was the best fit for him as he officially signed there in November of 2017. As a freshman, Nesmith wasn’t able to immediately crack the starting lineup. It took injuries and underwhelming play from teammates to finally be named a starter. Nesmith made the most of his opportunities once he was named a starter and became a key contributor for the team. He finished the season averaging 11 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 1.4 assists.
Nesmith made tremendous strides as an all-around player during his sophomore campaign. He immediately became a leader for Vanderbilt and dramatically increased his draft stock. On January 11, he sustained an injury to his right foot that would require surgery. Nesmith was hopeful that he could return at some point in the season, however, due to the coronavirus that possibility was erased. He put up stellar numbers as he averaged 23 points, 4.9 rebounds, and 0.9 assists on the season while averaging over 52% from beyond the arc. At the conclusion of his sophomore season, Nesmith officially declared for the 2020 NBA Draft.
- At 6’6″ and 214 lbs, he possesses an ideal frame for a player of his position
- Arguably the best three-point shooter in all of college basketball last season
- Will knock down just about any shot if given space
- When he gets hot he is almost impossible to cool down
- Can score from all levels of the court
- Solid contributor as a rebounder averaging just under five assists per game
- Uses his size and strength to finish along the interior
- Possesses the ability to create his own shots from mid-range
- Very reliable from the free-throw line averaging just over 82% in college
- Great awareness as a defender and knows where to position himself on the perimeter
- Very physical when defending in the paint
- His skill set should allow him to be an immediate contributor to his future team
- Does not possess elite athleticism
- His lack of vertical athleticism limits his game both offensively and defensively
- Not much of a shot-creator from beyond the arc
- His passing skill set will need refinement to have success at the next level
- Not a real threat as a ball-handler
- Relies too much on his size when finishing in the paint
- His lack of athleticism will limit him in certain aspects of the game
NBA Player Comparison
The player whose game Aaron Nesmith most closely emulates is Golden State Warriors shooting guard Klay Thompson. While it is highly unlikely that Nesmith will ever reach the level of play Thompson is at, they do have many similarities. They are both sharpshooters from beyond the arc, however, their game isn’t limited to just that one aspect. Neither possesses elite athleticism, but are still able to get the job done on defense. While Thompson is the better player, they both play a very similar style of game
Aaron Nesmith has the potential to be a very good player in the NBA for years to come. His pro-ready style of play paired with his dead eye shooting ability is sure to garner interest from many different teams. He has areas of his game he needs to clean up, but this won’t stop him from being a first-round draft pic. At this point, Nesmith will likely be a late lottery pick in the upcoming NBA draft.