Celtics Sign Nesmith, Pritchard
Pair of 2020 first round draft picks officially sign with Celtics
BOSTON, MA – The Boston Celtics have signed both of their 2020 first round draft selections – forward Aaron Nesmith, and guard Payton Pritchard – to contracts, the team announced today. Per team policy, terms of the deals were not disclosed.
Selected 14th overall in the 2020 NBA Draft, Nesmith (6-6, 213) produced career averages of 14.7 points (44.2% FG, 41.0% 3-PT, 82.5% FT), 5.3 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 0.9 steals, and 31.0 minutes played in 46 collegiate games over two seasons at Vanderbilt University. The 21-year old thrived in limited action as a sophomore in 2019-20, averaging 23.0 points on 51.2% shooting – including a school-record 52.2% shooting mark from beyond the arc – to go along with 4.9 rebounds, 1.4 steals, 0.9 blocked shots, and 35.7 minutes in 14 games.
Nesmith knocked down at least seven three-point field goals in four of his 14 contests this past season, including a career-best eight threes against Southern Methodist University on Jan. 4. His 60 three-point field goals made (of 115) led the Commodores and ranked 10th in the Southeastern Conference.
Pritchard (6-2, 190) was drafted 26th overall by Boston out of the University of Oregon, where he averaged 20.5 points (46.8% FG, 41.5% 3-PT, 82.1% FT), 4.3 rebounds, 5.5 assists, 1.5 steals, and 36.6 minutes played across 31 games (all starts) as a senior in 2019-20. Named the Pacific 12 Conference Player of the Year and Bob Cousy Point Guard of the Year award recipient this past season, Pritchard produced career highs in points, rebounds, and assists en route to being the University’s first consensus All-American since 1940.
A native Oregonian, Pritchard, 22, averaged 13.5 points on 43.7% shooting (37.9% 3-PT, 80.0% FT), 3.8 rebounds, 4.6 assists, 1.5 steals, and 33.7 minutes in 144 collegiate games (140 starts) across four seasons with the Ducks. He finished his collegiate career as the only player in Pac 12 conference history to tally at least 1,900 points, 500 rebounds, and 600 assists.
Nesmith will wear number 26 with the Celtics, and Pritchard will wear number 11.