BOSTON — While Boston continues to finalize a host of draft night trades, it’s time to learn about the only selection from the 2023 NBA Draft expected to make the team: the No. 38 overall selection, Jordan Walsh.
But first, let’s take a look at why the 19-year-old wing is expected to wear a Celtics uniform.
Boston is expected to make a flurry of draft night deals, all of which began with the blockbuster, three-team trade that landed Kristaps Porzingis in Bay State. In one of Boston’s proposed trades, the Celtics would acquire the rights to Walsh, who was selected with the 38th overall selection.
Initially C owned 35th overall selection, but he was traded to Washington as part of the Porzingis trade along with Danilo Gallinari and Mike Mascala. Memphis, the third team involved in the deal, acquired Marcus Smart from Boston in exchange for 25th overall selection and 2024 first-round selection (via Golden State). Memphis also sent Tyus Jones to Washington to complete the three-way deal.
This is the only Celtics trade that has been made official so far, while the following deals are still being processed.
Boston acquired (i) 31scheduled tribe the draft pick from Detroit in exchange for the draft rights to the 25th pick (Marcus Sasser) and two future second-round picks; (ii) Boston acquired the 34th and 39th picks from Charlotte in exchange for the draft rights to the 31st pick (James Nanaji); (iii) Boston acquired the draft rights to the 38th pick (Jordan Walsh) from Sacramento and the draft rights to a future second-round draft pick from Dallas in exchange for the draft rights to the 34th pick (Colby Jones); and (iv) received a future second round draft pick from Atlanta in exchange for the draft rights to the 39ers.thPick it up (Mohammed Guey).
Simply put, the following second-round picks will be acquired by the Celtics once the trades are finalized:
- No. 38 overall selection (Walsh)
- Dallas’ 2024 second round pick
- Detroit, Golden State, or Washington’s best 2025 second-round pick
- Best 2026 second-round picks from Minnesota, New Orleans, New York or Portland
- Atlanta’s 2027 second round pick
Okay, now getting all that clutter out of the way, let’s talk about number 38.
Walsh recently completed his freshman season at the University of Arkansas, where he debuted as a tall, explosive athlete with a strong defensive skill set.
The Celtics president of basketball operations sees the 6-foot-7-inch-tall Dallas native as a raw talent with a lot of potential.
“He’s a good prospect,” Stevens said after the completion of Thursday night’s draft. “He’s young. We don’t expect him to come in and set the world on fire in the first few months, summer league, first year. He has the ability to swallow guys defensively with his wingspan (7-foot-2). Has a special ability. Like he really creates havoc with his arms, his energy and his ability to move his feet.
Walsh was part of a stacked Razorbacks team last season that also included No. 6 overall pick, Anthony Black, and No. 27 overall pick, Nick Smith Jr. All three were one to one.
In his lone season at Arkansas, Walsh averaged 7.1 points, 3.9 rebounds and 1.1 steals per game, while shooting 43.3 percent from the field and 27.8 percent from long range. Although shooting was his perceived weakness, Stevens claims that Walsh is a better shooter now than he was a few months ago, judging by the two draft workouts he did with the C’s.
Stevens said of Walsh’s shooting, “He just keeps getting better.” “I always thought he had a good touch, but he seemed hesitant at times. And so, I think over time he’ll become a really good shooter who has the athletic ability to finish and make closeouts. But he will be leading on the defensive end from the start.”
In addition to Walsh, the Celtics also gained tremendous value in the future by obtaining four second-round picks. As the league faces a new financial landscape under the terms of an upcoming collective bargaining agreement, second-rounders have become a more lucrative commodity than ever. We’ve seen just how coveted they are through the various trades the league has made over the past few weeks.
“We were excited that we were able to get out more selections that we used (Thursday night) in a variety of ways,” Stevens said, and again there was a good player in Jordan.
Plan to see Walsh in action two weeks from now, as he is expected to participate in the NBA Summer League alongside last year’s second-rounder JD Davison and several other young, rising players.