The Indiana Pacers continue to make moves before the regular season. The team is considered by many to be a dark horse squad in the Eastern Conference as they are now extending Aaron Nesmith to a three-year extension worth $33 million. Nesmith is now the 10th player from his 2020 draft class to ink a contract extension. The Pacers have been busy this offseason with signings such as Bruce Brown and Obi Toppin.
While Buddy Hield has been mired in some trade rumors, he is still one of the best shooters in the league and will add that much more offensive firepower to their squad. Tyrese Haliburton is also due to have another solid year and could even receive some All-Star consideration. With them extending Aaron Nesmith, they are now shoring up their depth and fully preparing to make a playoff push this coming year.
Aaron Nesmith and Indiana Pacers Agree to Three-Year Extension Worth $33 Million
Can the Indiana Pacers Reach the Playoffs This Year?
The Indiana Pacers have been one of few winners this offseason. A change of scenery will hopefully help Obi Toppin’s career and the team still has a solid cast consisting of Myles Turner, Tyrese Haliburton, and Buddy Hield. Not to mention, Bruce Brown was a huge signing for them as he was vital for the Denver Nuggets during their championship run. Brown will be able to serve as a reliable sixth man off their bench or even start as a quality point guard if needed.
As for Nesmith, expect him to have an extended role after having a career year last season. The six-foot-five small forward certainly has potential and the Pacers see it with them granting him this three-year extension. Considering the makeup of the Indiana Pacers, they are a team one cannot overlook this season. They have a legitimate chance to make the playoffs in the Eastern Conference, where the bottom half is wide open this coming season.
Aaron Nesmith’s Impact
While Aaron Nesmith is not a household name, he became a solid rotational piece for the Pacers last year. In his first two years with the Boston Celtics, he was not quite able to figure it out, but a change of scenery has seemingly benefited him greatly. As alluded to already, he had a career year averaging 10.1 points, 3.8 total rebounds, and 1.3 assists per game. The Pacers wing also drastically improved his long-range shooting as he stroked it from beyond the arc at a rate of 36.6 percent. The season before, he only shot 27.0 percent from three-point territory.
On top of this, Nesmith also tallied a career-best player efficiency rating of 10.5 to go along with an assist percentage of 7.4 percent last season. While these numbers may not jump out at people, bear in mind Nesmith also averaged 24.9 minutes played last year. If the former Vanderbilt product continues to improve at this rate, expect his minutes to rise this coming season. Especially with his contract extended, Nesmith will surely see more minutes which will allow him to progress and improve his game.