The most underrated player on the Indiana Pacers

This player signed a very team-friendly contract extension in the offseason and it looks like a bargain for the Indiana Pacers.
Mar 12, 2024; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA; Indiana Pacers forward Aaron Nesmith (23) dunks against
Mar 12, 2024; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA; Indiana Pacers forward Aaron Nesmith (23) dunks against / Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports

When the Indiana Pacers signed Aaron Nesmith to a contract extension in July, I thought it was a good move. He signed for three years and $33 million, a very team-friendly deal. He showed a year ago that he can be a very valuable player off the bench.

Nesmith has upped his game to another level this season. While I thought he was best used as a sixth-man for the Pacers coming into the season, he's proven to be a valuable starter for this team. His offensive stats have all gone up in a big way.

Despite coming off the bench earlier in the year, all of his numbers are up from a year ago. He's averaging around 12 points, 4 rebounds, and a steal per game. The biggest thing is that his efficiency has gone up. He's shooting almost 51% from the field and 45% from three.

Aaron Nesmith provides valuable defense for the Indiana Pacers

Nesmith's offensive numbers are great, but his defense is what makes him such a valuable member of the Pacers. That was showcased Tuesday night against the Thunder. When he was guarding Shai Gilegous-Alexander, SGA was just 1-6 from the field.

The Pacers use Nesmith as a versatile defender who typically guards the best player on the opposing team. He is the epitome of a three-and-D guy. He's a top-five three-point shooter in the league and can make life hell for someone on the opposite end of the court.

Now that Nesmith looks like he's fully back from his injury, the Pacers are in a much better spot. He's hitting threes, driving to the rim, and giving full effort on defense. He's easily the most underrated player on this roster and is the glue that keeps the whole team together.

Next. Next story. The Pacers need to use this lineup combination more. dark

Tyrese Haliburton still isn't the same player since his injury. Yet, the Pacers can still win games because of what Nesmith brings when healthy. Myles Turner stepping up offensively has helped too. When this team shares the ball and the scoring is spread around, they're hard to beat.