Aaron Nesmith's rookie year got off to a slow start. But by season's end, he showed some real potential.
The 14th overall draft pick found his shooting stroke toward the end of the campaign and showed Marcus Smart-like effort on defense, diving for loose balls and throwing his body around with reckless abandon. He looked sharp in the Celtics' preseason opener as well, tallying 10 points off the bench (2-for-3 on 3s) with three rebounds.
With the new season rapidly approaching, there could be a spot in the starting lineup for Nesmith as he looks to build off his promising start. On a new Celtics Talk Podcast, Chris Forsberg and MassLive.com's Brian Robb discuss whether we could see Nesmith in a starting role this season.
"Offensively, it makes plenty of sense. If you want to maximize the offense, I feel pretty confident saying Nesmith is going to be a far better three-point shooter than Hernangomez this year," Robb said. "And so, I think it all comes down to again, do they want to protect the Jays against having to guard those 4s and 3s. ...
"I wouldn't mind it at all. If you want to maximize spacing around those guys and just have a guy who's going to be reckless and might not be a good defender yet but is going to give you 100 percent effort all the time in that department, I'd be curious to see in these upcoming games if they give that look a try."
Forsberg agrees that Nesmith in the starting lineup could help bring out the best in Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, plus it would allow Nesmith to be his usual reckless self on the court.
"If you put him with a lineup of Marcus (Smart), Rob (Williams) and the Jays, he's protected a little bit," Forsberg said. "Like, he can run around and be crazy, and that's OK. One of the things I had a problem with Hernangomez was he kind of blends in a little bit. ... I need to see more activity. Maybe that comes, it's hard to judge off one preseason game against the Orlando Magic, but I'm very interested."
Also in the new episode: Exclusive interview with Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. Any shot that Aaron Nesmith starts? What roles will Al Horford and Robert Williams have to start the season? And ranking the level of concern for Jaylen Brown's wrist.