The Celtics drafted Jordan Walsh of Arkansas with the 38th pick in the NBA draft on Thursday after making four trades and acquiring four future second-round draft picks. Michael Woods/Associated Press

BOSTON — The Celtics went into the NBA Draft with the 25th overall pick. But by the end of the night, after four trades, the Celtics landed Arkansas wing Jordan Walsh and four future second-round picks.

Walsh, 19, was a five-star prospect coming out of high school before playing his lone season with Arkansas. There’s plenty to like about him, which Celtics President of Basketball Operations Brad Stevens detailed in an early Friday morning talking about Walsh, the Marcus Smart trade and more.

“He’s a good prospect,” Stevens said. “He’s young. We don’t expect him to come in and take the world on fire in the first couple of months, Summer League, first year. He has a special ability laterally with his wingspan to swallow people up defensively. Like he really creates havoc with his arms and with his energy and with his ability to move his feet. He’s a better shooter.”

Walsh already projects well defensively, which Stevens pointed out in his assessment of the wing. He was listed at 6-foot-6 at the NBA combine, and his 7-2 wingspan is a huge asset. Walsh is still raw offensively, but if he’s able to find a 3-point shot, he has a chance to carve out a role in the NBA.

Walsh will play for the Celtics during Summer League, which runs from July 7-17 in Las Vegas. It’s unclear yet who will be on the team, though last year’s second-round pick, JD Davison, is expected to suit up.

“We had (Walsh) in twice for workouts,” Stevens said. “He is just getting better and better. And I’ve always thought his touch looked good, but he looked hesitant at times. And so I think over time, he’ll become a really good shooter who has the athleticism to finish and drive closeouts, but he’ll be ahead on the defensive end from the start. He’ll get knocked down a few times, though.”


BY ALL ACCOUNTS, the Celtics were headed toward a three-team deal with the Wizards and Clippers. The centerpiece of the trade was Kristaps Porzingis, as the Celtics were looking to upgrade their front court. Malcolm Brogdon was expected to be headed to Los Angeles in the deal, as the Celtics moved one of their top four guards.

But drama ensued late Wednesday. The Clippers had reservations about Brogdon’s injury status after he hurt his forearm during the Eastern Conference finals. So the Celtics pivoted, instead roping in the Grizzlies for the three-team deal, though that also meant Marcus Smart was the guard shipped out in a stunning move.

There have now been plenty of questions regarding Brogdon’s injury status. But Stevens, in his first public comments about the trade early Friday morning, addressed how the guard felt about his injury.

“Our doctors and him have been really consistent with – he’s felt better and better and better and he’s going to continue to do so and it’s going to be monitored,” Stevens said. “If they need to go in and do that (surgery), then he can choose to. But he can also choose not to in the way he’s feeling. We’re very confident that he’ll be on the court and be good.”

There were other questions that popped up about Brogdon’s injury status. While the guard wasn’t included in the Clippers deal, the Celtics could still look to ship him elsewhere. However, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst reported Thursday that Brogdon’s injury was so significant that “there’s probably no Malcolm Brogdon trade they can do in the short term.”

Based on Stevens’ answer, it doesn’t appear that Brogdon’s injury is serious enough that it will have long-term consequences. If that’s the case, that’s a positive for the Celtics, as they can still use his contract and other assets to bring in another rotation player or difference-maker this offseason.

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