Proposed Trade Sees Celtics Deal 22-Year-Old at NBA Draft

Aaron Nesmith of the Boston Celtics.

Getty Aaron Nesmith of the Boston Celtics.

The Boston Celtics traded their first-round pick in this year’s draft in the deal that brought them Derrick White. In turn, they only have a second-rounder. That pick is at 53rd overall, and at that point, most of the quality players will have already been plucked off the board.

However, Boston could end up looking to trade into the draft. If not in an attempt to pick up a quality piece, potentially to get off some salary currently on the roster. One proposed trade sees them do just that by trading for a pick early in the second round.

Grant Hughes of Bleacher Report suggested a deal that would send Celtics wing Aaron Nesmith to the Orlando Magic in exchange for the 32nd-overall pick in the draft (the second pick in the second round). Nesmith would get a new shot on a rebuilding team, while the Celtics would dump a bit of salary.

Nesmith has struggled to find playing time in Boston’s rotation as of late. Despite a strong end to his rookie campaign, he rarely cracked Ime Udoka’s rotation and was just never able to find his rhythm from behind the three-point line.

In turn, Hughes believes that this deal would benefit both the Magic and Celtics in very different ways.


How the Trade Benefits Both Sides

For Orlando, Hughes sees this as an opportunity to add a wing prospect who could still develop into a useful player. The Magic have plenty of guards, but are currently short on young wings.

“The Orlando Magic have the No. 32 pick and tons of guards but few promising options at Nesmith’s position. Getting him for a second-rounder would be a coup from their perspective,” Hughes noted.

This past season, Nesmith averaged 3.8 points and 1.7 rebounds on 39.6% shooting from the field and 27.0% shooting from distance. He appeared in just 52 games, averaging 11.0 minutes per game.

Meanwhile, trading Nesmith for a second-round pick would help the Celtics free up some money, specifically in regard to how much they’d be paying on their tax bill.

“If Boston wants to trim its tax bill by swapping a lottery-scaled contract for a cheaper second-round alternative, this would achieve that goal,” Hughes explained.

In addition, that second-round pick could prove to be useful for the Celtics, who have had success drafting in that part of the draft in recent years.


Celtics’ Recent Draft Success

Hughes mentioned Payton Pritchard as a prime example of how the Celtics have been able to find diamonds in the rough late in the draft around the 32nd spot.

“And you could understand the Celtics being confident in their ability to hit on a pick later in the draft. Payton Pritchard came off the board a dozen picks after Nesmith in the same 2020 class, and he’s played over 1,000 more minutes across the last two seasons,” Hughes wrote.

Not only have they found Pritchard around that position, but guys like Grant Williams and Robert Williams were also late first-round picks. There’s no reason Boston couldn’t find someone decent at the 32nd spot.

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