Morning sports update: Here are the NBA players Aaron Nesmith was compared to by his college coach

"I don’t think they have anyone on the team that shoots as well as he does."

Aaron Nesmith was compared to some of the NBA's greatest shooters by his college coach.
Aaron Nesmith was compared to some of the NBA's best shooters by his college coach. –AP Photo/Mark Humphrey

On Thursday, Celtics forward Gordon Hayward reportedly declined his $34.2 million player option for the 2020-2021 season. As a result, the 30-year-old is set to hit the market when NBA free agency begins today at 6 p.m., though his time in Boston isn’t necessarily over.

Tonight, the Revolution face the Montreal Impact in an Eastern Conference Play-In game in the first round of the MLS postseason. The game will kick off at 6:30 p.m. inside Gillette Stadium, though no fans will be in attendance due to COVID-19.

On Sunday, the Patriots face the Texans at 1 p.m. as New England looks to get back to .500.

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Jerry Stackhouse’s described Aaron Nesmith: In a recent interview with WEEI’s “Ordway, Merloni, and Fauria,” Vanderbilt head coach (and former NBA All-Star) Jerry Stackhouse offered some comparisons for Celtics fans trying to acquaint themselves with Boston’s recent first-round pick, Aaron Nesmith.

“I don’t think they have anyone on the team that shoots as well as he does,” Stackhouse explained. “You’re talking about a guy who if he takes 100 shots he’s going to make 90 of them spot-up shots. I’ve seen him go 50-for-50, taking five spots, 10 shots. Allan Houston, Ray Allen-type of jumpers. They are getting that type of shooter, but more.”

Stackhouse offered more on his comparison of Nesmith and Houston.

“I kind of liken him to Allan Houston right now,” said the Vanderbilt coach. “A guy who can come off screens, come off pin-downs. I don’t know if he had the greatest handle but he could get to where he needed to get to make great space for himself.”

Along with Khris Middleton, who (like Nesmith) is from South Carolina, Stackhouse listed J.J. Reddick as another comparable NBA player.

“He really shoots the ball like a J.J. Redick type,” said Stackhouse. “I just don’t want to limit him to that. Once he gets space, once he gets his eyes on the rim, it’s gone. Just from a standpoint of shot-making. Does it look the same or have the same type of release as J.J. Redick? No. But from a standpoint of shot-making, that’s the way he shoots the ball.”

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During his final season at Vanderbilt, Nesmith led the nation in 3-point shooting, nailing an impressive 52.2 percent of his attempts.

Trivia: Ray Allen was the fifth overall pick in the 1996 NBA draft. What player was selected right before him?

(Answer at the bottom).

Hint: From Georgia Tech, he never won an NBA title, but did win three in the Chinese Basketball Association.

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