Jordan Walsh: Things to Know about New Celtics 2023 Draft pick

The Boston Celtics have made a strategic move in the 2023 NBA draft, selecting Jordan Walsh, a promising 19-year-old forward from Arkansas. With the 38th overall pick, the Celtics traded back into the second round after their initial selection at No. 25 in the first round.

Standing at 6-foot-7 and weighing 204 lbs, Walsh possesses an impressive 7-foot-3 wingspan, which makes him a formidable force on the defensive end of the court. Known for his elite athleticism and defensive skills, he excels in disrupting passing lanes and making opponents uncomfortable. His long frame and wingspan give him the potential to become a lockdown defender at the professional level.

Photo credit: Arkansas Athletics

However, it should be noted that Walsh’s shooting abilities, especially from beyond the arc, are currently limited. While he has demonstrated exceptional defensive skills, his offensive game requires refinement and improvement. Walsh’s energy and defensive intensity were evident throughout his freshman season at Arkansas, where he showcased his versatility by defending players on the perimeter and in the paint. College basketball analyst Jay Bilas highlighted Walsh’s impressive defensive statistics, noting that he allowed only 34% shooting as a primary defender.

To become a regular contributor in the Celtics’ rotation, Walsh will need to polish his overall game and become a more effective offensive threat. Although he made an impact in transition during his college career, he will face greater challenges in the professional ranks. While Walsh has a sound shooting form, his shooting percentages during his time at Arkansas were not particularly impressive. With the right development, however, he has the potential to become a dependable 3-and-D player for the Celtics.

During his freshman season at Arkansas, Walsh had to adjust to a role that differed from his high school career as a highly touted recruit and McDonald’s All-American. Despite sharing the court with other talented players, he played a significant role in the team’s success, including an upset win over No. 1 Kansas in the NCAA tournament. While returning to Arkansas for his sophomore year could have potentially boosted his draft stock, Walsh has chosen to continue his development within the Celtics’ organization, whether it be with the Boston team or with their G League affiliate, the Maine Celtics.

One aspect that Walsh will need to address is his tendency to accumulate fouls. While his nonstop motor and relentless pursuit of loose balls and offensive rebounds have paid off, they have also resulted in him fouling out of several games during his college career. Managing his defensive intensity without committing unnecessary fouls will be a crucial learning curve for Walsh as he progresses in his young career.

Off the court, Walsh has faced the challenge of dealing with alopecia, a condition that causes hair loss due to the immune system attacking hair follicles. Despite this, he has used his platform as a college athlete to raise awareness for the condition and support others who share the same affliction. Collaborating with Arkansas women’s basketball player Rylee Langerman, who also has alopecia, Walsh has contributed to the promotion of a book that tells the story of a young Arkansas boy coping with alopecia.

Conclusion: With time and proper development, Jordan Walsh has the potential to become an impactful player for the Boston Celtics. As he hones his skills and adapts to the professional level, he can contribute as a tenacious defender and a high-energy presence off the bench. The Celtics’ organization will play a crucial role in his growth and the realization of his potential as a player.

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