Minnesota Timberwolves: 3 prospects to target at No. 17 in NBA Draft

Josh Green of the Arizona Wildcats. (Photo by Leon Bennett/Getty Images)
Josh Green of the Arizona Wildcats. (Photo by Leon Bennett/Getty Images) /
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Minnesota Timberwolves, Aaron Nesmith
Aaron Nesmith of the Vanderbilt Commodores goes up for shot. (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images) /

Aaron Nesmith, Wing, Vanderbilt

Aaron Nesmith is quite possibly the best shooter in this draft, and on a team that finished third in the league in 3-point attempts per game but just No. 28 in 3-point percentage, it’s safe to say that the former Vanderbilt Commodore would be a perfect fit in Minnesota.

Indeed, Nesmith shot 52.5 percent on 115 long-range attempts as a sophomore. His freshman year saw him shoot only 33.7 percent on 175 tried, so there is a bit of a small sample size warning attached to this year’s mark. That said, prior to the injury that ended his season, he looked the part.

Nesmith’s shot mechanics are practically flawless, and he can shoot equally as effectively both off the dribble and in catch-and-shoot situations. He’ll be a perfect fit in a modern NBA offense, running off screens and knocking down jumpers with limitless range.

He’s a smart player who will know his role on both ends of the floor. Without much of a handle and modest athleticism, Nesmith isn’t going to do much offensively besides shoot 3-pointers.

Defensively, Nesmith will be able to guard 2s and 3s with his 6-foot-6 height and 6-foot-10 wingspan. His athletic limitations will keep him from being entirely switchable and he probably won’t ever be a lockdown defender, but his size and intelligence makes it seem likely that he’ll be a high-impact team defender.

There’s still hope that Nesmith becomes more than simply a solid role player; he still hasn’t turned 21 years old and has flashed signs of being able to contribute as a playmaker.

Nesmith is rising in mock drafts and it’s starting to look like there’s maybe a 50-50 chance that he’s still on the board at No. 17. But if he is still there, the fit with Minnesota is undeniable. The Wolves don’t have any true 3-and-D wings, and Nesmith profiles as exactly that.