The Indiana Pacers have locked up one of their premier young bench players, Aaron Nesmith, for the future with a three-year, $33 million contract extension.
Prior to the season, Nesmith had two rather disappointing seasons with the Boston Celtics, as he struggled to get minutes in a loaded backcourt rotation and was also hampered by foot issues.
Indiana Pacers sign Aaron Nesmith to 3-year, $33 million contract extension
Following the trade to the Pacers, Nesmith turned his game around, racking up career-high averages across the board and regaining some of that shooting touch that made him such a highly coveted prospect coming out of Vanderbilt, shooting 36.6% from beyond the arc after a dreadful 27% shooting season in 2021-22.
All in all, Nesmith showed tremendous improvement over just one season and firmly placed his name in the Pacers rotation for the 2023-24 season.
In addition to this fantastic 2022-23 season, Nesmith’s 2023 preseason was also great, as he showed renewed athleticism, shooting ability (38% from deep), and overall feel for the game.
With these eye-catching performances and him being only 24 years old, Pacers fans started egging the front office on to extend Nesmith, as his rookie contract would expire in 2024, thus making him a restricted free agent and the Pacers potentially having to match a large contract for him.
Thankfully, Kevin Pritchard and Chad Buchanan got it done sooner rather than later, as Nesmith inked his extension on the morning of October 23.
To people who watch the Pacers, this is no surprise, as Nesmith has been showing tremendous upside every time he has stepped on the court. People still have his fantastic defense in mind, as well as his athleticism, which can lead to poster dunks like the one on Cleveland, Jarrett Allen.
With Nesmith locked up for the next four years and his spot in the rotation being all but certain, it will be very interesting to see what the wing out of Vanderbilt does this upcoming season, with Indiana poised for a playoff spot in 2024.