24 - Aaron Nesmith

6-6, 215 Shooting Guard/Small Forward
Vanderbilt Sophomore
10/16/99 (22 yrs)
Charleston, SC
High School
Team Site Profile
Jump Shot
NBA Ready
Ball Handling

NBA Comparison: Cameron Johnson/Robert Covington

Strengths:  A pure shooter who put up incredible stats for the first half of the season, before succumbing to a foot injury that ended his season … Displayed tremendous range. Showed the ability to extend well past the college three and out to NBA three during his sophomore year … Has a clean, concise shooting motion, and gets shots off quickly after setting his feet … Learning some effective tricks to free himself up for shots, including ball fakes, jab steps, and moving without the ball … It’s obvious he has studied some of the game’s greats like Curry and Harden and implemented their ball skills, including step back jumpers to enhance his offensive game … Despite lacking great foot speed, Nesmith shows the ability to defend utilizing long arms, solid technique and effort … Defensive ability is enhanced by his length, maturity, focus and basketball IQ … An extremely prolific three point shooter, at least in his amazing 14 game window, knocking down 4.3 per game (on 8.2 attempts) … Was highly efficient shooting … Prolific scorer. Nesmith went for 34 points twice and topped the 25 point mark four other times in his 14 games … Excellent length with a 6’10 wingspan on the wing … A solid leaper and dunker when he gets an open angle to the rim. His long arms allow him to get well above the rim for finishes … Has a bit of an “old man’s game”. It’s not overly pretty and his legs and movements are a bit rigid, but he’s effective … Has an NBA ready body. Very good upper body strength, showing the ability to finish through contact … Shows some slick ball handling ability to create space for pull ups as well as creating driving opportunities … Steady free throw shooter at 82% in both freshman and sophomore seasons … Proved a better rebounder in freshman season, perhaps showing his ability when focused more on team play than scoring … 3-and-D type of wing prospect …

Weaknesses: Body of work is not robust as he did not sustain his breakout season for more than 14 games, and missed nearly all of conference play. He also did not shoot at the same clip as a freshman (33.7% from 3) … Lacks great vision and passing ability, granted a lot of the offensive weight was put on his shoulders at Vanderbilt … Somewhat robotic and stiff … Not the most fluid of athletes. While he shows the ability to dunk and finish on the break, he’s not the most dynamic of athletes, as his hips are stiff and he lacks fluidity for a wing … Body control on drives is below average … Assist to turnover ratio was a very disappointing 0.9 to 1.7, made even more concerning by the fact that his games were almost exclusively against inferior talent. Nesmith faced just one top 25 team (Auburn) all season … Ball handling seems to break down when attacking the basket … Lacks speed when attacking the rim. Forced to use strength instead of a quick first step in order to keep defenders at bay and create scoring opportunities off the dribble … Likely to get crowded at the next level, as he may struggle to create off the dribble against NBA wing athletes …

Overall: Quite possibly the 2020 draft’s top overall shooter … Nesmith was on pace to become the most prolific shooter in SEC history over the course of a season … Could potentially become a Buddy Hield type of NBA player, if his offensive game becomes more diverse and he learns to protect the ball and pass the ball better … A foot injury is a little more concerning as they can be harder to recover from and more likely to be recurring. His physicals will obviously be important for teams considering him in the late lottery/mid first area … Projecting his draft stock, Benefits greatly from the premium put on outside shooters in today’s NBA …

Notes: Native of Charleston, SC … Came into college as ESPN’s 69th rated prospect, 64th in 247 Sports … Majored in Human and Organizational Development … Brother Eddie attends Harvard … Will turn 21 on October 16th

Aran Smith 8/31/20


NBA Comparison: Cameron Johnson

Strengths: Put up extremely impressive stats as a sophomore with 23 ppg and knocked down an incredibly high volume of shots from behind the arch (made 4.3/8.2 per game) … Undeniably one of the best shooters in the class, shooting 52% from three-point range this past season … Has a good NBA wing frame at 6’6”, 215 lbs. with a 6’10” wingspan … He can catch and shoot as well as anybody in this year’s class, and excels in his off-ball movement … Understands the importance of movement to free himself for looks … Very effective when catching and shooting off-ball screens and uses constant motion to get open … Muscle memory. Has a pretty quick and high release with consistent form which allows him to get his shot off in tight windows … Willing to crash the glass on the defensive end and fight for tough rebounds … Uses a good head fake to keep defenders off balance and is able to hit one-dribble pull-ups from the perimeter … Although it doesn’t happen often, can be slippery when attacking the rim … Shows potential on the defensive end due to length and basketball IQ, but still has a ways to go … 1.4 steals per game shows his solid anticipation ability … Rotates well and is willing to close out on shooters … Seems to understand his strengths and weaknesses, “plays within himself”, doesn’t try to do too much … Team player with a low key demeanor. Seems coachable and doesn’t have a huge ego, wants to win … Is still 20 years old until October 16, solid upside as he already possesses an NBA-ready shot … Progression from his freshman to sophomore year is very promising … Shot an identical clip from the FT line in his freshman and sophomore seasons (82.5%), which shows consistency and is certainly getting the job done … Got to the free-throw line 4.5 times per game as a sophomore … At times makes impressive finishes, his explosiveness is a little inconsistent, but when he gets a clear path to the rim, he is able to throw down solid dunks … Incorporates an effective Euro step to cover more ground on drives …

Weaknesses: His stats are very impressive, but he did not prove it over an entire season, playing in just 14 games (shot 33.7% from three as a freshman) … It’s likely that his production/efficiency may have trailed off to an extent in conference play, but just how much is open to debate … Most glaring weakness is ball-handling. Does not create his own shot very well against top athletes and struggles in isolation … Lack of a quick first step makes it tough to get past quality defenders, and also allows opponents to play him close … Average athlete by NBA standards lacking fluidity and explosiveness  … Overall speed and quickness (both laterally and vertically) leaves something to be desired, but can improve … Defense remains a work in progress and something he will need to focus on in order to earn playing time at the next level … Doesn’t crash the boards on the offensive end, but usually isn’t inside the perimeter to begin with … Can make simple passes, but looking to create for others in the half-court isn’t really part of his game … Sometimes panics when double-teamed or rushed, prefers to play at his own pace … Seems to shy away from contact at the rim, preferring to go for an acrobatic lay-up or pull-up… At times, confidence in his jumper can lead to seemingly forced shots with better ones available from his teammates (granted at 52% from three, that is nit picking)… Relies on length rather than quickness on defense, allows quicker players to get by him … Does not block shots, but can step in and alter some … Most weaknesses are easily correctable with the right coaching, but he’s not fully formed yet …

Outlook: Has some parallels to Buddy Hield, though not the all around scoring threat, lacking the same ability to handle and create off the pull up … A shooting specialist if there ever was one, the modern NBA fits his playing style extremely well and his length gives the potential on defense … He’s arguably the best spot-up shooter in the draft and can provide a floor-spacing three-point threat immediately for any NBA team … His off-ball movement sets him apart from the pack, always moving, using screens and finding the soft spot in the defense to get an open look… Nesmith is elite in his strengths, but limited elsewhere … The lack of ball-handling and playmaking ability caps his potential as a well-rounded player… However, he knows his strengths, taking and making more three-pointers and shots inside the arc this year… Projects to be a specialist, and could turn into one of the better marksmen in the game one day … Should turn into a low-end starter or key role-player thanks to play style, and if he can develop a decent handle and improve lateral quickness he could be much more …

Notes: Possesses a 6-10 wingspan at 6-6, 215 lbs … Native of Charleston, South Carolina … Was rated 64th nationally coming into college by 247 Sports, 69th by ESPN …

Nick Mazone 5/14/20