Celtics Draftee Addresses Foot Injury Concerns

Getty Images Boston Celtics No. 14 draft pick Aaron Nesmith of Vanderbilt

Vanderbilt sharpshooter Aaron Nesmith was a projected top-20 pick in the 2020 NBA Draft before the Boston Celtics selected him at No. 14.

President of basketball operations Danny Ainge couldn’t resist. Nesmith, who suffered a stress fracture in his right foot during his sophomore year just before entering the Draft, shot at an incredible 52.2% clip from behind the 3-point arc.

While some teams were anxious about picking Aaron, worried about his recent foot injury, according to reports, others didn’t even get the opportunity to mull a decision over, thanks to Ainge, who swooped in and picked his guy.

“Aaron (Nesmith) is a terrific shooter and has great size and felt like he was the best guy that we could get right there,” Ainge said last Wednesday night after the Draft. “As we were watching the Draft unfold and we saw that one of the guys that we identified as a player that we liked and wanted, we just hung in there and we were fortunate that we got out guy.”

Aaron Nesmith On Stress Fractured Foot Injury: ‘I’ll Be Good To Go’

Despite playing in only 14 games, Nesmith’s transformation from his first season at Vanderbilt hardly went unnoticed when he improved to scoring 23 points per game, a plus-12 point leap in contrast to his freshman campaign. From deep, Aaron took his game to new heights.

Connecting on 4.3 treys a night, he drained 60 3-pointers last season and immediately became someone that Ainge believes can impact his Celtics. And if there are still lingering concerns on whether Nesmith will be healthy for next month’s start of the regular season, Boston’s first-round pick says he’ll be ready.

“I’ll be good to go,” Nesmith said Tuesday. “I’ve done everything so far, workout-wise. It’s good. It’s 100% and I won’t miss a beat.”

Aaron Nesmith On Adapting To The Boston Celtics: ‘It’s Nothing Different Than Payton Or I Have Gone Through’

Nesmith, along with fellow Celtics first-round draftee Oregon guard Payton Pritchard, won’t have a whole lot of time to adjust to their new NBA lifestyle as the rookies have already been thrust into team workouts, which will be followed by a condensed training camp, preseason, and a regular-season start that is less than one month away.

No Summer League or months of practice; Nesmith and Pritchard have, unfortunately, been spared the NBA rookie training regimen course that typically follows Draft Night. Still, when Nesmith was asked about what lies ahead – adapting to a competitive NBA team that he can contribute to – he said he’s looking forward to the challenge.

“Great expectations,” Nesmith said. “So it’s nothing different than Payton or I have gone through. It’s just continuing to come in and work as hard as we can and be a sponge. We don’t know what’s going to happen next season, so continuing to do what’s asked of us.”

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