Arkansas Head Coach Issues Statement on Recent Celtics’ Draft Addition

Jordan Walsh, Boston Celtics

Getty Jordan Walsh, Boston Celtics

On June 23, the Boston Celtics selected Jordan Walsh out of Arkansas with the 38th pick in the 2023 NBA Draft.

According to Eric Musselman, who was Walsh’s head coach last season, the Celtics are getting a player who will quickly become a fan-favorite due to his all-action defensive performances.

“He can guard three positions; he can guard the small forward, a power forward, and he can guard an off-guard,” Musselman said during an interview with WBZ-News. “He has great lateral foot speed and is kind of a violent defender who likes to jump passing lanes…I think he can be really good. He understands game plans and understands defensive schemes. He’s not only a very good on-ball defender but a very good weakside, off-ball defender. He can block shots when he’s on the ball and block shots from the weakside for his position.”

Walsh joins the Celtics in a moment where they have recently traded away their fan-favorite defender and will now be hoping that he can begin to replace the hard-nosed defense that Marcus Smart brought to the team – even if it’s from a different position on the court.

Brad Stevens Discusses Trading Marcus Smart

During a June 23 press conference, Boston’s President of Basketball Operations, Brad Stevens, discussed his decision to trade Smart in a deal that sent Kristaps Porzingis to the Celtics, noting how Smart leaves the Celtics in a better situation than he originally found them.

“As I told him, when he got here we were 25-57 the year before,” Stevens said. “The greatest legacy that you can leave is to be someplace and it’s better off because you were there, and I think everybody here feels that way. He will always be appreciated and thought of so fondly here for any number of reasons… We’re all really grateful to have had Marcus in our life for as long as we have.”

Smart will now be playing his basketball for the Memphis Grizzlies, who will be hoping he can bring some discipline and competitiveness to a roster that struggled with injury and off-court drama last season.

Danilo Gallinari Sends Message to Celtics

As part of the trade that sent Smart to Memphis and Porzingis to Boston, both Danilo Gallinari and Mike Muscala were routed to the Washington Wizards. In a June 26 statement on Twitter, Gallinari thanked the Celtics‘ coaching and medical staff for helping him overcome his ACL injury before noting how he would have liked to play for the team next season.

“A huge thank you to the Celtics staff that helped me rehab and reach my goal,” Gallinari wrote. “It would have been even better to show it on the court.”

After sustaining an ACL injury during his time with the Italian national team, Gallinari was unable to play for the Celtics last season, meaning that despite being with the franchise for a year, he will leave without a single minute being spent on the TD Garden floor.
Gallinari will now be hoping he can remain healthy and help the Washington Wizards navigate their roster rebuild during his tenure with the team.