On Thursday, Vanderbilt guard Aaron Nesmith announced that his college career is over and he is entering the NBA draft.
“I have decided to enter the 2020 NBA Draft and intend to hire an agent,” Nesmith wrote on Instagram. “I am so grateful for what life has brought me so far and I cannot wait for this next step in my journey.”
Nesmith is projected as a top 20 pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, and it is pretty easy to figure out why.
Nesmith is a 6-foot-6 wing with a 6-foot-10 wingspan that was shooting a ridiculous 52.2% from three while taking more than eight threes per game before suffering a foot injury that ended his season. He’s not the most explosive athlete, but he was one of the most improved players in the country before he got hurt.
I’m willing to take a bet on a guard with those measureables when he’s a hard enough worker to go from 33.7 percent shooting as a freshman to this. That’s a similar jump to the one that Buddy Hield made heading into his senior season, and while Nesmith isn’t quite the athlete — or the winner — that Hield was, the numbers he put up as a 20-year old are quite impressive.
Now, there are a few caveats. For starters, Nesmith injured his foot before SEC play started, to the level of competition that those numbers came against are a concern. And given the uncertainty around the country about the coronavirus outbreak, he may not have a chance to have his foot evaluated by NBA teams before the draft.
But, again, a player with those measureables and that shooting ability is worth a mid-first round pick.