5 things to know about new Celtics draft pick Jordan Walsh

5 things to know about new Celtics draft pick Jordan Walsh: Stevens finally stuck with one of Boston’s second-round picks on Thursday night after doing his best impression of Bill Belichick by trading down multiple times.

5 things to know about new Celtics draft pick Jordan Walsh
5 things to know about new Celtics draft pick Jordan Walsh

Jordan Walsh of Arkansas was selected by the Celtics with the 38th overall pick in the 2023 NBA Draft.

Before trudging through an up-and-down freshman season with the Razorbacks, Walsh, 19, was a five-star recruit out of Dallas.

Walsh is still a raw prospect, but his strengths on the court could make him an effective role player in the future.

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There is no doubt that Walsh will provide energy and stout defensive play in the NBA.

Before Walsh becomes a regular contributor in Boston’s rotation, he may need to polish his overall game.

His defensive intensity and energy stood out throughout his freshman season at Arkansas. Walsh, who has a wingspan of 7 feet 3 inches and a frame of 6 feet 7 inches, is a versatile defender capable of flying all over the court, slowing down perimeter players, and scrapping in the paint.

In college, Walsh allowed only 34% percent shooting as a primary defender, according to ESPN’s Jay Bilas. 

With a high motor, second-effort sequences, and scrappy play, Walsh should establish himself as a tireless defender and spark plug off the bench.

The offensive game of Walsh needs to be improved.

Walsh’s defensive abilities will make him a formidable opponent in the pro ranks. It won’t be easy for him to carve out dependable minutes for himself unless he becomes a more effective offensive threat.

While he did plenty of damage in college, he won’t be able to get those easy lobs and layups in Maine and Boston.

Despite Walsh’s good shooting form, he failed to achieve tangible results at Arkansas. During his lone collegiate season, he averaged just 7.1 points per game and made just 27.8 percent of his 3-pointers.

In the years to come, Walsh’s sound mechanics offer hope that he can become a reliable 3-and-D threat for the Celtics.

In The Ringer’s draft profile of Walsh, Walsh was compared to a “supercharged Jae Crowder”. 

A smooth shooting form doesn’t matter if you can’t consistently sink your deep shots.

At Arkansas, Walsh struggled to find his role,

Coming out of Link Academy in Branson, Missouri, Walsh spent most of his freshman season settling into a defined position on a talented Razorbacks team.

He started 22 of the team’s 35 games on an Arkansas team that included first-round picks Anthony Black (No. 6 overall – Orlando) and Nick Smith Jr. (No. 27 overall – Charlotte).

As a five-star recruit and McDonald’s All-American in 2022, Walsh had to rethink the role he took on as a college basketball player, with players like Black and Ricky Council IV shouldering most of the scoring duties for Arkansas.

In the 2023 NCAA tournament, Walsh played a key role in his team’s run to the Sweet 16.

Walsh likely would have put himself in the conversation for a first-round pick in 2024 if he returned to Arkansas in a featured role as a sophomore.

Walsh will instead build his game within the Celtics organization, whether he is with Boston or the Maine Celtics in the G League.

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It was Walsh’s energy on the court that led to bad habits.

Walsh’s unstoppable motor often paid dividends for the Razorbacks, winning 50-50 balls with diving plays and scrapping for offensive rebounds.

Despite his high-octane energy, he also got into foul trouble against Arkansas. He fouled out of eight of his 35 games last season.

Walsh will have to learn how to harness that defensive intensity without racking up reach-in fouls or other infractions over the course of his young career.

Alopecia has been brought to the public’s attention by Walsh.

In his early years, Walsh suffered from alopecia, a condition in which the immune system attacks hair follicles and results in hair loss. The condition causes patches of hair to fall out and not grow back.

Alopecia has affected many pro athletes, including former NBA forward Charlie Villanueva and Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier.

However, Walsh has not let the condition define him, and has served as a resource for others.

Rylee Langerman (who also has alopecia) and Walsh recently helped celebrate the release of “Beanies, Ball Caps, and Being Bald,” a book about a boy with alopecia from Arkansas.

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