Aaron Nesmith will be entering his third year in the NBA when the new season begins, however, he won’t be suiting up for the Boston Celtics after being sent to the Indiana Pacers as part of the Malcolm Brogdon trade.
It’s clear that Nesmith needs as many reps as possible if he’s going to rediscover the shooting form that earned him a lottery selection in 2020 when the Celtics selected him 14th overall.
However, due to the delay in Brogdon’s physical examinations, Nesmith and the Pacers were forced to remain patient, as the young shooter was ineligible to suit up for his new team in Las Vegas until the physical had been conducted and signed off by the Celtics and the NBA.
“Nesmith was ineligible to play for Indiana in Summer League until Brogdon reported to Boston and passed a physical. Now that Brogdon has completed that requirement to make the trade official, Nesmith could make his Pacers debut Tuesday in the team’s third Summer League game against the Pistons at Cox Pavilion. The matchup will be televised on NBATV at 9 p.m,” James Boyd of the Indy Star reported on July 12.
Nesmith Needed a ‘Mental Break’
Things didn’t work out in Boston for Nesmith, as he found himself struggling for a consistent role on a deep, contending roster. And this past season, when the Vanderbilt product was given opportunities, he failed to capitalize, as he failed to find the range and rhythm a sharpshooter relies on to be effective.
In fact, in his 56 appearances for the Celtics last season, Nesmith averaged just 27% from the perimeter, 10% worse than his rookie year. The addition of Sam Hauser, who looked far more reliable on the perimeter last season, probably didn’t help Nesmith’s case either. Still, when speaking with the media for his exit interview on June 17, the six-foot-five wing noted how he planned to take a short break from basketball, as he bid to reset his confidence before heading into his off-season training camp.
“I’m not quite sure what happened this year, kinda need to take a mental break, take a step away. Get back to doing what I do at a high level. I think a lot of it is not physical, it’s mental. So, just being able to take a break from basketball for 10 days or two weeks will be very beneficial to me heading into next season…I’m still very confident in my shot, I’m a phenomenal shooter. I know that the team knows that, my coaches know that,” Nesmith told the media on June 17.
Brogdon Willing to Embrace Sixth Man Role
Brogdon is the Celtics’ marquee off-season addition and is widely expected to improve Boston’s fortunes on both sides of the floor – most notably in the playmaking and shot creation departments.
When news broke of Boston’s trade, there was a lot of discussion surrounding what Brogdon’s best role for the Celtics would be, and if that would come as part of the starting five or off the bench. However, during a July 11 interview with ESPN’S Adrian Wojnarowski, the veteran combo guard shed some light on what to expect in the coming season.
“Brad did have a conversation with my agent and talked about me coming to Boston and embracing a sixth man role. And for me, I’ve made a lot of money, I’ve won a lot in Milwaukee, I’ve won some in Indiana. But I really want to get back to winning at a high level, I wanna win a championship. So whatever I can sacrifice, to get back to that championship level, I’m willing to do it and compete,” Brogdon said when discussing the role that he’s expecting to play in the upcoming season.
While Nesmith struggled to show his true value in Boston, he will get a new opportunity with the rebuilding Pacers, while Brogdon will now get the chance to compete for an NBA championship as the sixth man on a team that finished two games short against the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals.