Jordan Walsh is generating legitimate buzz at NBA Summer League

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Jordan Walsh is generating legitimate buzz at NBA Summer League originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

It’s far too early to tell if Jordan Walsh can contribute for the 2023-24 Boston Celtics. But if you’re wondering why the team already signed its second-round pick to a four-year, $7.6 million contract, Walsh is giving you answers at the 2023 NBA Summer League.

Walsh delivered another strong performance in Wednesday’s Summer League matchup with the Los Angeles Lakers at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, scoring a game-high 25 points on 10 of 20 shooting to power Boston’s 95-90 comeback win.

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Walsh had a rocky start offensively, going just 4 for 12 in the first half while missing his first four 3-pointers. But the 19-year-old hit his stride in the third quarter, pouring in 12 points in a 12-minute span to help Boston storm back from a 10-point deficit.

Walsh played with an infectious energy throughout the night, adding eight rebounds, two assists and a steal in a well-rounded effort.

Defensive plays like this should be expected from Walsh; his head coach at Arkansas, Eric Musselman, describes the 6-foot-7 forward as a “violent defender” who has the chance to be “special” on the defensive end. Walsh has room for improvement on offense, however — he averaged just 7.1 points per game and shot 27.8 percent from 3-point range last season — which is partly why he slipped to the second round.

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With that in mind, it’s encouraging to see Walsh be this aggressive and effective on the offensive end. Through three Summer League contests, Walsh is averaging 18.3 points per game while shooting 44.4 percent from the floor and 36.8 percent from three.

In the process, he’s caught the eye of several NBA analysts.

Three games is a very small sample size, and the competition is well below what Walsh can expect in an actual NBA game. Even if he continues to play well, Walsh will have to fight to earn playing time in Boston this season behind Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Oshae Brissett and Sam Hauser at the wing position.

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But his play in Vegas is perhaps the most encouraging development to date for the Summer Celtics.

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