Jordan Walsh

Celtics Notes: White, Walsh, Horford, Series Outlook

It’s going to get even more expensive for the Celtics to keep their core group together. Derrick White, who has excelled during the postseason, will be seeking a contract extension this summer, Marc Stein reports in his latest Substack article.

White will make $20MM next season in the last year of the four-year deal he signed with the Spurs. He’s eligible for another four-year deal that would max out in the neighborhood of $126MM. The remainder of the Celtics’ starting lineup is signed through at least the 2025/26 season, with all making at least $29MM per season.

We  have more on the Celtics:

  • The lone rookie on the team, Jordan Walsh,  has only appeared in two postseason games but he’s contributing in other ways, Souichi Terada of Masslive.com writes. He’s trying to push Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown whenever he’s matched up against the star wing duo in practice. “I’m here to kill you in practice. I don’t care who you are, I’m trying to kill. So that’s kind of the mentality I have,” he said.
  • Al Horford‘s experience and leadership is invaluable to the team, Baxter Holmes of ESPN writes in a feature story. “The bottom line is, we are much better because Al Horford is on our team, and everybody in the room is better because Al Horford is on the team,” top executive Brad Stevens said. “That’s the most important thing. He raises all ships. That’s just the way he’s always been. We don’t take that for granted. We know how important he is.” Horford’s on-court contributions have remained steady –he’s averaging 9.6 points, 7.3 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game in the postseason.
  • The ESPN trio of Brian Windhorst, Marc Spears and Dave McMenamin provide their observations and expectations for the remainder of the NBA Finals between the Celtics and Mavericks.

Celtics Notes: Brown, Tatum, Walsh, Mazzulla

Celtics guard Jaylen Brown brings star power to tonight’s Slam Dunk Contest, which has featured mostly fringe players for the past decade, writes Souichi Terada of MassLive. Brown is hoping to restore some prestige to one of the signature events of All-Star Weekend, and he believes the time is right to make a statement.

“I’m in my athletic prime right now,” he told reporters. “I feel good. When it comes to dunking, I think it’s an art form. I think when it comes to dunking on somebody, I think I’m one of the best to ever do it. I’m looking forward to it. I think it’s an extension the art form of dunking.”

Unlike his competitors — Jaime Jaquez of the Heat, Jacob Toppin of the Knicks and defending champion Mac McClung of the G League — Brown is one of the NBA’s elite players, and Terada points out that he’s the first All-Star to take part in the dunk contest since 2017. Terada notes that Brown has been talking frequently about the “art form” of dunking and has hinted that teammate Jayson Tatum may participate in one of the dunks he has planned.

“I think the art of dunking is dope — and it always has been,” Brown said. “From the early days to now. It sucks to see the abandonment of the dunk contest. I think it’s an art form. For me, it’s about the show, it’s about the lead-up, the build-up. I think the people will appreciate some of the stuff I’ll do tonight, once it gets slowed down. Once you see the replay.”

There’s more on the Celtics:

  • Speaking at All-Star media day, Tatum lobbied for a change to the league’s technical foul process, Terada adds in a separate story. “If you get a tech for overreacting to a call and you were right,” Tatum said. “If they go back and look, the coaches do the challenge and they overturn the call, that tech should be rescinded. You should get your money back. If you get a tech for overreacting to a call that was deemed incorrect or whatever, you should get your money back.”
  • Rookie forward Jordan Walsh saw the first meaningful minutes of his NBA career when he checked into Wednesday’s game late in the first quarter, per Brian Robb of MassLive. Robb observes that Walsh has been spending more time with the Celtics lately after playing primarily in the G League early in the season. “Since Christmas, he came on the West Coast trip with us, and we made a conscious effort to just have an understanding of defense is how you make it in this league as a young player,” coach Joe Mazzulla said. “What you do in the G League from a statistical standpoint is important, but it’s more important about your daily approach – your professionalism and your defense, and I think he’s just really, really grown in that area.”
  • Jared Weiss of The Athletic examined Mazzulla’s progress as a head coach after he picked up his 100th career win Wednesday night.

Atlantic Notes: Nets, Dinwiddie, Anunoby, Raptors, Walsh

At one point in mid-December, the Nets were 13-10. But they’ve gone just 3-14 since, and are currently 16-24, the No. 11 seed in the East.

While there are several reasons for the team’s poor play, veteran guard Spencer Dinwiddie in particular has been oddly disengaged of late, writes Lucas Kaplan of NetsDaily.com. Dinwiddie averaged just 3.3 points (on 3-of-15 shooting) and 3.0 assists in the three games prior to Wednesday’s loss vs. Portland, with his minutes being cut back too.

Dinwiddie’s name has popped up in recent trade rumors and there has been speculation that his second tenure in Brooklyn might be nearing its end.

Dinwiddie, who will be an unrestricted free agent in the offseason, only attempted one shot and had zero points in the first half against the Blazers, but he scored 19 points in the second half and was far more aggressive than he has been lately, notes Bridget Reilly of The New York Post.

I thought overall, his ability to get downhill, thought he was seeing the floor very well tonight,” head coach Jacque Vaughn said. “Just ran the basketball, getting us organized. But, he has the ability to get downhill, to get to the rim, [and to] draw fouls, which he was able to tonight. It was good to see him aggressive, and in the flow and playing to his capabilities.”

Here’s more from the Atlantic:

  • Anthony Puccio of NetsDaily.com says the Nets “aren’t very good” and argues the team should pick a direction and stick with it, since the lack of clarity about the future is casting a cloud over the organization.
  • The Knicks are 8-2 since they traded for OG Anunoby and the results aren’t a coincidence, according to Fred Katz of The Athletic, who lays out several eye-opening stats related to Anunoby’s impact early on in his tenure. Perhaps most remarkably, through 10 games, New York is plus-22.3 points per 100 possessions when Anunoby is on the court vs. minus-18.9 when he sits, for a net rating differential of +41.2.
  • Raptors president Masai Ujiri emphasized the word “patience” on Thursday as the team begins a different era, one more focused on young players and the future rather than the present. Blake Murphy of Sportsnet.ca examines what a patient approach could look like and when Toronto might look to become a competitive playoff team again.
  • Celtics rookie Jordan Walsh, the 38th pick of last year’s draft, made his regular season debut on Wednesday after spending much of the season playing for the team’s NBA G League affiliate in Maine, per Souichi Terada of MassLive.com. “For me personally, it’s been easy knowing that I’m in the best team, the best organization there is in the NBA right now,” Walsh said. “So, keeping that in my mind, knowing that the time is coming, it’s a process for everybody. I’m just at this point in my process, and hopefully by the end of this process, I’ll be where I want to be. And that’s kind of like how I approach every day, just wanting to get to that final end goal.”

Atlantic Notes: Raptors, Sims, Hartenstein, Walsh

Raptors head coach Darko Rajakovic isn’t oblivious to the calls to modify his starting lineup, but he’s not prepared to make any changes yet. In a media session on Tuesday, Rajakovic said he wants to give his current starting five – Dennis Schröder, Scottie Barnes, OG Anunoby, Pascal Siakam, and Jakob Poeltl – “another game or two” to figure things out, tweets Josh Lewenberg of TSN.ca.

The five-man group has a minus-4.7 net rating in 270 minutes so far this season. As Lewenberg observes, the starters have been outscored in six of the Raptors’ last seven games and the club lost all six of those games. If there are no positive steps forward within the next couple games, it sounds like Rajakovic is open to shaking things up.

“It’s not something that’s completely off the table,” he said today.

Here’s more from around the Atlantic:

  • Eric Koreen and John Hollinger of The Athletic teamed up to examine what it would look like if the Raptors become trade deadline sellers, weighing the trade value of players like Siakam and Anunoby. Hollinger also digs into what a trade sending Siakam to the Hawks might look like, suggesting a package of a couple first-round picks (Sacramento’s lottery-protected 2024 pick and Atlanta’s own “lightly protected” 2029 selection), De’Andre Hunter, and Bogdan Bogdanovic in exchange for Siakam and Christian Koloko.
  • While Jericho Sims got the starting nod in the Knicks‘ first game without center Mitchell Robinson, Isaiah Hartenstein played more minutes than Sims did and was part of the closing lineup, notes Fred Katz of The Athletic. Katz takes a closer look at what Robinson’s extended absence will mean for New York, exploring whether additional lineup and rotation tweaks may be necessary if Sims continues to start.
  • Celtics forward Jordan Walsh has yet to make his regular season NBA debut, having spent much of his rookie season so far in the G League. According to Chris Forsberg of NBC Sports Boston, head coach Joe Mazzulla – who has said he wants to see Walsh focus on defense and impacting the game without scoring during his time in Maine – is keeping tabs on the rookie’s progress. “We get an email after every game,” Mazzulla said. Craig [Luschenat], our guy who works with our player development, and [Maine head coach] Blaine [Mueller] are in constant communication and then we have constant development checklist of what’s important to us, where we want him to be at the end of the season, where we want him to be in a year from now.”

Celtics Notes: Walsh, Porzingis, Brogdon, Hield

With Marcus Smart and Grant Williams both gone, there could be an immediate role for second-round pick Jordan Walsh with the Celtics, writes Gio Rivera of NESN. The 19-year-old built a reputation as a strong perimeter defender during his freshman season at Arkansas and he may get an opportunity to do the same thing in the NBA.

At Summer League, Walsh showed off a scoring touch in addition to his defensive prowess, leading Boston with 16.0 points per game while shooting 42.2% from the field. The Celtics rewarded him with a four-year, $7.6MM contract, indicating that he’s considered part of their future.

For now, Walsh is enjoying the experience of preparing for training camp with some of his new teammates.

“To finally be here, to finally be with the team and finally able to play guys 1-on-1 in practice, it’s been the best time, it’s been fun,” Walsh said (video link). “… Today I was matching up against Derrick White the whole practice. Even playing defense against somebody like him, I always have something to learn. For him, being a leader on the team, being a point guard who steps into that point guard role, there’s a lot I can take from him and I was happy to be able to get a chance to play with him.”

There’s more on the Celtics:

  • Kristaps Porzingis arrived in Boston on Wednesday and has been doing “light on-court work” to prepare for training camp, according to Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe. Porzingis traveled with Latvia’s World Cup team even though he wasn’t able to play because of plantar fasciitis. The condition isn’t expected to affect him in camp, and other players are excited about what he can bring to the team. “I think he’s an unbelievable player who is obviously really tall and can affect the game in a whole different way that we haven’t had, with his ability to shoot and put it on the floor and attack those mismatches,” Payton Pritchard said.
  • Celtics guard Malcolm Brogdon is reportedly unhappy about how the team handled his elbow injury and Pacers guard Buddy Hield is looking for a trade after not getting the contract extension he wants, but Brian Robb of MassLive doesn’t expect them to be dealt for each other. In a mailbag column, Robb points out that Indiana isn’t likely to have interest in Brogdon after trading him to Boston last summer, while exchanging Brogdon for Hield doesn’t represent an upgrade for the Celtics.
  • Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe places the Celtics second in his preseason NBA rankings. He has the team behind the defending champion Nuggets, although he admits there are questions surrounding Porzingis’ ability to stay healthy, White’s transition to starting point guard duties and offensive production from its centers.

Celtics Notes: Brown, Brissett, Banton, Madar, Begarin

The trade kicker on Jaylen Brown‘s new super-max extension with the Celtics is worth either 7% of his remaining salary or $7MM, whichever is lesser, per Jared Weiss of The Athletic.

Brown’s trade kicker won’t be relevant until at least the 2025/26 season, since a player is ineligible to receive a full trade bonus if it would push his salary beyond his maximum. He’ll be earning the max (35% of the cap) in ’24/25, but not necessarily in seasons beyond that, since the cap could increase at a greater rate than his contract does.

Brown will receive 8% annual raises, so if the cap rises by 10% per year, he’d be earning below the max in later years of the extension. His trade kicker would ensure he earns as much as $7MM in extra money if he’s dealt at that point.

Here’s more on the Celtics:

  • After signing the richest contract in NBA history, Brown is feeling more pressure to use his wealth to make a “tangible impact” off the court rather than to win a championship on it, as Weiss details within the same Athletic story. “The first thing that came to mind is like ‘Dang, look what all you can do with it now,'” Brown said. “Like how much you can invest into your community, what you can build with it, what you can change, how many lives you can touch, and what you can do in real-time.”
  • As long as the Celtics are at full strength, Brian Robb of MassLive doesn’t expect there to be too many minutes available for newcomers like Oshae Brissett, Dalano Banton, and Jordan Walsh. Of the three, Brissett probably has the best chance to earn a rotation role, according to Robb, who believes Banton will be more of a defensive specialist and developmental project.
  • Within the same mailbag, Robb writes that the Celtics remain high on draft-and-stash players Yam Madar (the No. 47 overall pick in 2020) and Juhann Begarin (No. 45 in 2021) despite not feeling that either is NBA-ready yet. Robb speculates that those former second-rounders could be logical additions to fill back-end roster spots on the cheap in future seasons as super-max deals for Brown and Jayson Tatum hit the team’s books.
  • Longtime voice of the Celtics Mike Gorman will retire after the 2023/24 season, per NBC Sports Boston. The veteran play-by-play man has been calling Celtics games since 1981. “Celtics Nation… you are the best and there is no other group of dedicated fans I would have chosen to take this ride with,” Gorman said as part of a larger statement. “I very much look forward to my final season with all of you — and thank you again for allowing me to be a part of your lives.”

Scotto’s Latest: Suns, Pacers, Knicks, Wright, Hornets, More

The Suns, Pacers and Knicks recently had exploratory trade talks on a deal that would have sent Cameron Payne to New York, T.J. McConnell to Phoenix, and Evan Fournier and draft picks to Indiana, league sources tell Michael Scotto of HoopsHype. Other iterations of the deal included Jordan Nwora, according to Scotto, though it’s unclear where the Pacers forward would have ended up in that framework.

However, the talks on the three-team trade have stalled, Scotto reports. Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports was first to report the Suns and Pacers discussed a deal involving Payne and McConnell, and suggested the Knicks may have been involved as well.

Here’s more from Scotto’s latest article for HoopsHype:

  • League sources tell Scotto that the Hornets are on the hunt for a backup point guard after Dennis Smith Jr. signed with the Nets in free agency. As Scotto previously reported, Charlotte had interest in Aaron Holiday, but he wound up signing with the Rockets. According to Scotto, one player on Charlotte’s radar is Wizards guard Delon Wright, who will make $8.2MM next season in the final year of his contract. The Wizards traded for Tyus Jones and Jordan Poole, and Wright was signed by the previous front office regime. The 31-year-old has already seen his name pop up in a few other trade rumors this offseason.
  • Scotto recently spoke to a handful of second-round picks at Summer League about their goals entering their rookie seasons. Those players are Nuggets guard Jalen Pickett, Celtics forward Jordan Walsh, and Mouhamed Gueye and Seth Lundy of the Hawks. Walsh, the No. 38 pick of the 2023 draft, has high expectations for himself, he told Scotto. “If I get a chance to play with these guys and help the team, I want to be on the All-Defensive First or Second Team or Defensive Player of the Year,” Walsh said. “My goals are defensively oriented and winning a championship, which is No. 1. If I’m able to accomplish any of those things, I’d feel my rookie year went pretty well.”
  • In case you missed it, we passed along some Raptors rumors and free agent rumors from Scotto as well.

Atlantic Notes: Siakam, Wieskamp, Anunoby, Harden, Walsh

Raptors forward Pascal Siakam is still a potential trade candidate for Toronto, but the club is taking its time and showing no urgency to make a move, writes Doug Smith of The Toronto Star.

There’s “more smoke than fire” around Siakam, according to Star, who says the Raptors do not feel a particular obligation to move their veteran star, who at present appears happy to remain with the only NBA team he’s ever known.

The 6’9″ forward submitted his most prolific scoring season yet on a middling 41-41 club in 2022/23, averaging 24.2 PPG, 7.8 RPG, 5.8 APG, 0.9 SPG and 0.5 BPG.

Smith adds that the $1.9MM non-guaranteed contract of sharpshooter Joe Wieskamp is due to be fully guaranteed Monday, but predicts that Wieskamp is more likely be released than retained.

There’s more out of the Atlantic Division:

  • The Knicks, who boast one of the best collections of assets in the league, may have the inclination and the pieces to make a trade for Raptors 3-and-D swingman OG Anunoby, writes Zach Braziller of The New York Post. Anunoby was one of the most coveted players to not be moved during this past season’s trade deadline. The 2022/23 All-Defensive Second Teamer averaged 16.8 PPG on .476/.387/.838 shooting splits, 5.0 RPG, 2.0 APG, 1.9 SPG across his 67 available contests last year.
  • Although rival front offices believe the Sixers are hoping to hold on to star point guard James Harden, a source close to the 2018 MVP says he still wants to be traded for the third time in three seasons, according to Sam Amick of The Athletic.
  • Celtics rookie forward Jordan Walsh has been solid enough during his Summer League run with Boston that it’s conceivable he could eventually slot into the team’s rotation as a possible Grant Williams replacement this year, opines Jared Weiss of The Athletic. Williams, of course, was sent to Dallas in a three-team sign-and-trade earlier this week.

Contract Details: Poeltl, Strus, Love, Robinson, Walsh, R. Lopez

Jakob Poeltl‘s four-year contract with the Raptors has a flat base value of $19.5MM per year, for a total of $78MM, tweets Blake Murphy of Sportsnet.ca. There are $500K in annual incentives currently considered unlikely to be earned — if Poeltl maxes out those bonuses, it’ll be worth $80MM. As previously reported, the fourth year is a player option.

Murphy adds that Jalen McDaniels‘ two-year deal is, as expected, worth the full amount of the bi-annual exception and is fully guaranteed, with no options on the second year.

Here are a few more details on recently signed contracts that Hoops Rumors can confirm:

  • Max Strus‘ four-year contract with the Cavaliers, which has a total value of $62.3MM, has a first-year salary of $14,487,684. That means the trade exception created by the Heat in the sign-and-trade deal is worth $7,243,842, half of Strus’ salary, due to base year compensation rules.
  • Kevin Love‘s two-year deal with the Heat is worth the full Non-Bird amount — $3.84MM in year one and $4.03MM in year two (with a player option). That represents 120% of his minimum salary.
  • Orlando Robinson‘s two-year, minimum-salary contract with the Heat is only partially guaranteed for $75K in 2023/24. That guarantee will increase to $425K if he remains under contract through the start of the regular season and to $850K if he’s not waived on or before December 1. Because Robinson’s current guarantee is only $75K, he’d be eligible for a two-way deal if he’s waived before the regular season.
  • Jordan Walsh‘s four-year deal with the Celtics is worth the minimum in all four seasons. It’s fully guaranteed in the first two years, with a $200K partial guarantee in year three.
  • Robin Lopez‘s minimum-salary contract with the Bucks is for one year.
  • We’re continuing to update our free agent tracker and our list of draft pick signings with contract details as we learn them.

Celtics Sign Jordan Walsh To Four-Year Deal

4:42pm: The deal is official, according to a press release issued by the Celtics.


3:44pm: The Celtics have reached an agreement on a four-year contract with second-round pick Jordan Walsh, reports Michael Scotto of HoopsHype (Twitter link). Walsh’s four-year deal will be worth $7.6MM, league sources tell Scotto.

Boston made a series of trades on draft nights, moving down multiple times and ultimately ending up with just one pick, at No. 38 overall. The club used that selection to nab Walsh, who declared for the 2023 draft as an early entrant following his freshman year at Arkansas.

In his first and only college season, the 6’7″ forward averaged 7.1 points, 3.9 rebounds, and 1.1 steals in 24.4 minutes per game (36 contests) with a shooting line of .433/.278/.712. Despite his modest college stats, Walsh intrigued NBA teams due to his athleticism and defensive versatility.

The NBA’s new second-round pick exception will allow the Celtics to sign Walsh to a four-year deal without requiring cap room or the mid-level exception to do so. Based on the terms reported by Scotto, it sounds like Walsh will receive the rookie minimum salary across all four seasons. As our minimum-salary chart shows, a rookie signing a four-year, minimum-salary contract in 2023/24 will be in line for a total of $7,639,302.

The second-round pick exception requires that the final year of the contract be a team option, but teams and players can negotiate the guarantee amounts on the earlier seasons. I’d expect Walsh to receive at least one or two fully guaranteed years on his first NBA deal.