The Boston Celtics drafted Jordan Walsh with the 38th pick in this year’s draft. Walsh, standing at 6’7” with a massive 7’2” wingspan, is an intriguing player that many Celtics fans want to see an immediate impact from. While Walsh was touted as one of the best defenders in this year’s draft, there are certainly some limitations to his game on both sides of the floor. With that said, the team announced today that they’ve sent him to their G League Maine affiliate.
Offensively, he leaves a lot to be desired. He did have a very hot start in this year’s Summer League shooting 40.7% from beyond the arc but that was a very small sample size and one that we didn’t see in his college days at Arkansas (27.8% from beyond the arc).
His 3-point shooting could be fine if Summer League is any indication, but it is certainly up for debate at this point in his career. What is not up for debate is the fact that the rest of Walsh’s offensive game is certainly undeveloped. He is not someone that is going to put the ball on the floor and drive hard to the rim; this comes down to strength and size. His length is great, but he is very skinny right now, weighing in at just 205 pounds. There are skinny players in this league with immense offensive talent with the likes of Kevin Durant, Chet Holmgren and now Victor Wembanyama, but there is obviously a drop off talent-wise between those three players and Jordan Walsh.
I don’t want you to think that this is a Jordan Walsh bashing session because it is actually quite the opposite. Walsh has a lot of upside potential but needs time to develop the rest of his game and body and part of that development may be coming in Maine this year.
Today’s G League has come a long way. We have seen very high draft picks like James Wiseman, Anthony Bennett, and Hasheem Thabeet get designated and sent down. The Celtics are in win-now mode and while that is amazing for fans, it can be detrimental to the growth and development of younger talent like Jordan Walsh. It is great experience being able to practice with all of the NBA guys on this current Celtics roster, but most real development comes with playing time and that is going to be hard to come by on a roster filled with guys that can contribute to a winning team now.
With that being said, there might be a lot of lonely nights driving north up Route 95 to get to Portland on game days for Jordan Walsh this season. On the offensive side, I’d love to see Walsh work on his handles and his ability to finish through contact because he does get hit off his spot when heading to the rim quite a bit right now. That is something he can work on but will also come along with weight training and added muscle. As I’ve mentioned, there is a lot of exciting upside potential for Jordan Walsh, but he is still raw and undeveloped at this point in time and the Maine Celtics could be a great opportunity for him to develop into a big steal with the 38th overall pick in the draft!