Pick #38- Jordan Walsh

Cellar-Door

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So after all the moves, the Celtics end up with Jordan Walsh.

19 years old
6'6" tall
7'2" wingspan
8'11" standing reach



Played 1 year at Arkansas after being a McDonald's All American and consensus 5 star recruit.

Here is the Ringer writeup:
66360
 

nighthob

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I think I did a write up on him the 2023 draft thread and noted that he would be a great get as Marcus's understudy. If they can get that hitch out of the jumper and clean the release they have a legit rotation (as in top 8) guy.
 

Royal Reader

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So after all the moves, the Celtics end up with Jordan Walsh.

19 years old
6'6" tall
7'2" wingspan
8'11" standing reach



Played 1 year at Arkansas after being a McDonald's All American and consensus 5 star recruit.

Here is the Ringer writeup:
View attachment 66360
This doesn't read like a writeup of a guy who's eight picks deep in the second round. Feels like quite a Danny pick in terms of highly touted recruit with meh production.
 

djbayko

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He admires his shot too much. Either follow it or get back on D, but don't stand there with your hand in the air like you're Steph Curry. Nitpick. I'm sure he'll learn.

Other than that, he plays a little wild. Looks like someone who can come in like a ball of energy, like a longer Grant, but needs to get it under control a little.
 

Imbricus

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"Major project on the offensive end" are the words that keep sticking in my mind. It's a little discouraging to see opponents leave him wide open because they have absolutely no respect for his three-point shot. But he's only 19 (and turns 20 in March), so we'll see how much shooting is an acquired skill.
 

Eddie Jurak

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"Major project on the offensive end" are the words that keep sticking in my mind. It's a little discouraging to see opponents leave him wide open because they have absolutely no respect for his three-point shot. But he's only 19 (and turns 20 in March), so we'll see how much shooting is an acquired skill.
It's pick 38, and some reports say he is an NBA caliber defender already. If he had an offnesive game he'd have been a mid first rounder.

This is just what you get in round 2.

We have gotten some useful NBA service out of a no-offense second round pick (Semi Ojeleye) in the recent past, and this guy seems like a much higher upside version of a defense first guy.

Semi went #37 in 2017 and, while out of the league now, is currently 26th in minutes played among players drafted in that class. He was also a 4 year college player so more of a finished project when the Celtics got him.

I think Jordan Walsh is the kind of player you want at #38, even though, like most second round picks, he probably won't amount to much.
 

slamminsammya

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It's pick 38, and some reports say he is an NBA caliber defender already. If he had an offnesive game he'd have been a mid first rounder.

This is just what you get in round 2.

We have gotten some useful NBA service out of a no-offense second round pick (Semi Ojeleye) in the recent past, and this guy seems like a much higher upside version of a defense first guy.

Semi went #37 in 2017 and, while out of the league now, is currently 26th in minutes played among players drafted in that class. He was also a 4 year college player so more of a finished project when the Celtics got him.

I think Jordan Walsh is the kind of player you want at #38, even though, like most second round picks, he probably won't amount to much.
Semi also shot like 40 pct from 3 in college on volume.

At least this guy seems to actually jump.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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Imbricus

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To be clear, I like the pick. I think the second round should be all about picking low floor/high ceiling guys. Nice hustle, crashes the boards, very good wingspan. I like the defense-first emphasis too. A lottery ticket, and I'm good with that.
 

Jed Zeppelin

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Developing the shot is a big "if" but it's worth the risk and his age is an advantage over some other defense-first guys like Thybulle who was 22 on draft night. While that does mean coming in more physically ready, it's significantly less time to develop the areas that could take a player like that to another level. Three extra years of NBA coaching/workouts/etc. Maybe that means a little more time looking like a deer lost in the woods but it presents a path, basically the same one Avery Bradley—another big-time high school recruit—took.
 

SteveF

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So much of the outcomes for these late first, second round dudes will turn on whether they can make threes. Take Andre Jackson Jr. If that guy could shoot he'd have been a high lottery pick. But his shot is totally busted and he's already almost 22. That's a lot of years playing with a completely broken shot.
 

lovegtm

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Developing the shot is a big "if" but it's worth the risk and his age is an advantage over some other defense-first guys like Thybulle who was 22 on draft night. While that does mean coming in more physically ready, it's significantly less time to develop the areas that could take a player like that to another level. Three extra years of NBA coaching/workouts/etc. Maybe that means a little more time looking like a deer lost in the woods but it presents a path, basically the same one Avery Bradley—another big-time high school recruit—took.
2-way contracts and a currently full roster make this type of pick a lot more doable.
 

HomeRunBaker

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According to this article - https://the-cauldron.com/the-2nd-round-and-misuse-of-probability-402639df1038 - which looked at 10 drafts from 2003-2013, approximately 74% of 2nd round picks make it to the NBA but only about 26% make it over 3 years.

View attachment 66365
These numbers have skyrocketed since 2013 with expanded rosters. The majority of those drafted in the top half of he second round usually get the same amount of rope that first-rounders used to receive.

Walsh isn't some flier he was a top prospect and elite athlete coming out of HS. He's going to have a chance to win some minutes as a rookie or 2nd year guy once we need to shed some bench salary.
 

NomarsFool

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Isn’t he more of a medium floor/low ceiling guy? Doesn’t seem like that much of a lottery ticket. He can play defense, and with some work on his shooting can be Semi. That’s what you hope for around 38.
 

absintheofmalaise

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I had the, at times frustrating, pleasure of watching him play for the Hogs this past season. He is definitely a work in progress on the offensive end and is all hustle on defense. Would get into foul trouble because on defense because he relied on his hands too much. He will bring the energy level up whenever he's on the court. Fights for rebounds. I don't ever remember him taking a play off on defense.
 

Kliq

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Something tells me he will be a guy people will be pining to see get more minutes at times this season with his hustle and defense. Got to think of some sort of NoHo Hank-related reference to call him by.
 

mauf

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If you didn’t know who it was that sounds like Draymond coming out of Michigan St.
He admires his shot too much. Either follow it or get back on D, but don't stand there with your hand in the air like you're Steph Curry. Nitpick. I'm sure he'll learn.

Other than that, he plays a little wild. Looks like someone who can come in like a ball of energy, like a longer Grant, but needs to get it under control a little.

Draymond and Grant were first-team All-Americans in college. Walsh averaged 7 points per game and fouled out of 8 games in his lone collegiate season.

Walsh is one year removed from being a HS All-American, and his college FT% was better than Jaylen’s, so there’s something to wish on here. I’m ok with the pick. But he’s definitely not a high-floor guy like Draymond and Grant were; the chance that Walsh ever develops into a useful rotation piece for a good team is well below 50%.
 

BaseballJones

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This is why I wanted to go with Andre Jackson - who the Celtics obviously could have had. Elite athlete, great defender at multiple positions, really good ball handler and runner of an offense, incredible work ethic and character. The only thing missing is a shot, which may never come, but IF it got there, he has the ceiling of an all-star player. At minimum, he could right now provide defense and ball handling.
 

Cellar-Door

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Isn’t he more of a medium floor/low ceiling guy? Doesn’t seem like that much of a lottery ticket. He can play defense, and with some work on his shooting can be Semi. That’s what you hope for around 38.
He's an elite athlete in a way Semi never was, he's 19 and was a McDonald's All American. His ceiling is very high, it's just unlikely he develops in all the ways he could offensively (which might make him... Mikal Bridges maybe?) but his reasonable ceiling is he develops his 3pt shot, the defense translates, he's a slimmer more athletic Grant who can run the break, maybe you get Desmond Bane type performance.

He has a much wider range of outcomes than guys like Semi who are older, less athletic and don't have the pedigree.
 

mauf

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This is why I wanted to go with Andre Jackson - who the Celtics obviously could have had. Elite athlete, great defender at multiple positions, really good ball handler and runner of an offense, incredible work ethic and character. The only thing missing is a shot, which may never come, but IF it got there, he has the ceiling of an all-star player. At minimum, he could right now provide defense and ball handling.
That’s an interesting debate.

Jackson is two years older than Walsh and didn’t markedly improve from his sophomore to junior year. Jackson’s chances of developing a good-enough shot for an NBA wing are worse than Walsh’s. But Jackson clearly has the athleticism. I’m not so sure about Walsh — hopefully @absintheofmalaise is right about all those fouls being a product of inexperience, and not a sign that he’s going to be hopelessly overmatched against NBA talent.

If I were deciding between the two, I’d probably look at combine numbers. If Walsh had a 40-inch vertical, I’d bet on him figuring out how to defend over Jackson figuring out how to shoot. If Walsh’s measurables weren’t impressive, however, then yeah, I’d rather have Jackson.
 

pjheff

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He's an elite athlete in a way Semi never was, he's 19 and was a McDonald's All American. His ceiling is very high, it's just unlikely he develops in all the ways he could offensively (which might make him... Mikal Bridges maybe?) but his reasonable ceiling is he develops his 3pt shot, the defense translates, he's a slimmer more athletic Grant who can run the break, maybe you get Desmond Bane type performance.

He has a much wider range of outcomes than guys like Semi who are older, less athletic and don't have the pedigree.
Semi Ojeleye was Parade Magazine’s National Player of the Year in high school and tested freakishly at the combine.

https://parade.com/15098/brianmclaughlin/semi-ojeleye-is-parades-2012-13-boys-basketball-player-of-the-year/

http://www.draftexpress.com/profile/Semi-Ojeleye-7164/
 

Cellar-Door

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That’s an interesting debate.

Jackson is two years older than Walsh and didn’t markedly improve from his sophomore to junior year. Jackson’s chances of developing a good-enough shot for an NBA wing are worse than Walsh’s. But Jackson clearly has the athleticism. I’m not so sure about Walsh — hopefully @absintheofmalaise is right about all those fouls being a product of inexperience, and not a sign that he’s going to be hopelessly overmatched against NBA talent.

If I were deciding between the two, I’d probably look at combine numbers. If Walsh had a 40-inch vertical, I’d bet on him figuring out how to defend over Jackson figuring out how to shoot. If Walsh’s measurables weren’t impressive, however, then yeah, I’d rather have Jackson.
For combine, Walsh had significant edges in reach and wingspan, Jackson had a good edge in max vert, but Walsh had a clear edge in standing vert.

Walsh's vert scores are interesting/weird. His max vert was 36in, not that great tied for 24th (Jackson was at 39.5 good for 5th best), however, his standing vert was 33in, tied for 6th best (Jackson was 30.5 tied for 23rd). To me that indicates he's explosive but has poor vertical technique on the max vertical.

Overall though I'd have taken Walsh, I think he has more upside in the areas that you care about, and I don't really think Jackson is significantly more NBA ready, give me the younger guy with the better NBA body. Neither is a guy you're likely going to want handling the ball, so Jackson's advantages there matter less to me.
 

PedroKsBambino

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Semi Ojeleye was Parade Magazine’s National Player of the Year in high school and tested freakishly at the combine.

https://parade.com/15098/brianmclaughlin/semi-ojeleye-is-parades-2012-13-boys-basketball-player-of-the-year/

http://www.draftexpress.com/profile/Semi-Ojeleye-7164/
Yeah, Semi's problem was never physical/athletic...it was on the skills side. He couldn't turn those things into (say) blocked shots/deflections or turn the size/speed into offensive moves.
 

oumbi

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According to this article - https://the-cauldron.com/the-2nd-round-and-misuse-of-probability-402639df1038 - which looked at 10 drafts from 2003-2013, approximately 74% of 2nd round picks make it to the NBA but only about 26% make it over 3 years.

View attachment 66365
You wrote that "about 26% make it over 3 years." But I could only find 19.1% based on the pie chart provided.

Played at least 3 year = 16.7%
All star/all NBA = 2.4%
Total = 19.1%

What did I miss?
 

Red Right Ankle

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You wrote that "about 26% make it over 3 years." But I could only find 19.1% based on the pie chart provided.

Played at least 3 year = 16.7%
All star/all NBA = 2.4%
Total = 19.1%

What did I miss?
The guys who played 1 or 2 years. "Over three years" is not the same as "at least 3 years."
 

chilidawg

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The Athletic guys think he's a long ways off offensively:

Vecenie’s ranking: 41.
The idea of Walsh on defense is tantalizing. He has the exact kind of measurements that you’re looking for on that end in terms of a versatile, switchable weapon who can be utilized in a variety of situations as a potential switchable stopper. I also have a real affinity for guys like this in terms of his feel for the game. He just understands how to move and how to use space offensively. I’m just quite worried about his overall skill level right now and think he’s probably a multi-year project to develop it. How many teams are going to be patient with him? The Celtics went for it because his tools, motor and feel are good enough, and his defensive impact is excellent. I just worry he might be more of a second-draft player where the Celtics don’t end up deriving a lot of value because they have to spend so much time working through developing his shooting, ballhandling and finishing skills. I think he would have been better off staying in school and developing these skills, especially given that the draft in 2024 is quite poor. He probably would have given
himself a bit easier of a pathway toward making it.


Hollinger’s analysis: This pick is headed to Boston as a result of (waves arms at Boston’s other moves). A long-armed, developmental defender who is more of a long-term play, Walsh needs to make some big strides at the offensive end to get on an NBA court.

https://theathletic.com/4633413/2023/06/23/nba-draft-grades-analysis-2022-vecenie-hollinger-2/
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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These numbers have skyrocketed since 2013 with expanded rosters. The majority of those drafted in the top half of he second round usually get the same amount of rope that first-rounders used to receive.

Walsh isn't some flier he was a top prospect and elite athlete coming out of HS. He's going to have a chance to win some minutes as a rookie or 2nd year guy once we need to shed some bench salary.
If you count 2-way contracts as being in the NBA I'm right with you.

If you are saying that more second round picks are on NBA rosters for more than three years, you're probably correct given the expanded rosters but I'd be interested in seeing whether the increase is significant. I've not been able to find anything more recent than the one article I posted.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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You wrote that "about 26% make it over 3 years." But I could only find 19.1% based on the pie chart provided.

Played at least 3 year = 16.7%
All star/all NBA = 2.4%
Total = 19.1%

What did I miss?
It's not clear but I think author intended to add "One Season over .130 WS" to the players who made it over 3 years. If you read the article, the author says:

"In total, the number of second-round picks in that time that didn’t end up making the league, for whatever reason, was 86 [NOTE: out of 244]. That’s over 26 percent of the total sample. " and

"So for the sake of the analysis, we’re only examining players who played in the NBA for at least three total seasons. The players that qualify for this distinction out of 244, is, ironically also 86 (again, roughly 26 percent)."
 

HomeRunBaker

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If you count 2-way contracts as being in the NBA I'm right with you.

If you are saying that more second round picks are on NBA rosters for more than three years, you're probably correct given the expanded rosters but I'd be interested in seeing whether the increase is significant. I've not been able to find anything more recent than the one article I posted.
I'm on a plane w spotty WiFI. BB-Ref should have something.

Edit: 2018 draft, 13 of first 20 2nd round picks play 5 seasons.

Edit2: 2017, 11 of first 22 played 5 or 6 seasons. Another 4-5 played 4.
 

Justthetippett

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Yep much less heralded like Rodman.
Rodman averaged 25 and 15 over three years in college (granted at a small school). Reading more of the reports, I do wonder why this guy didn't stay in school for another year to work on his offensive game and declare in a weak draft.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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Walsh made one interesting comment to Givony when asked why he was staying in the NBA draft here: https://www.espn.com/mens-college-basketball/story/_/id/37770888/jordan-walsh-stay-nba-draft-leaving-arkansas-one-season?platform=amp

"Once I got out of Arkansas, I'm now in a position where I don't have handcuffs on me," the 6-foot-7 Walsh said. "I'm able to shoot and make plays for people. I have that flexibility to show that I can do all those things. I was stuck in a role, but now they'll see the real Jordan. That was a small glimpse of me at the combine."

He also said:

"I feel like the foundation of my game will be a 3 and D player," Walsh said. "Having 50 percent of that done will catapult me into the type of career that I want and can see for myself."

Speaking of combine, NBA.com picked him as one of seven standouts. https://www.nba.com/news/7-standout-prospects-from-the-nba-draft-combine
 

Devizier

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It's a hard as hell path but if this guy can be Bruce Bowen that would be great.

However, if it's the Bowen path he's got about 7 years before he breaks through in the NBA.
 

Auger34

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I’m no shot doctor but Walsh’s form looks pretty good. His release point probably needs to be higher and he kind of pushes the ball but it’s way better than I was expecting with his percentages.
 

Imbricus

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Speaking of combine, NBA.com picked him as one of seven standouts.
Yeah, I read he had a good combine. So he had good pedigree coming out of high school, was initially expected to go first round, then slipped after an unimpressive freshman season. Which could have been due to age or maybe he was playing in the wrong system for his skillset? I think there's a lot to like here -- with the understanding that we're a long way from him being a contributor. Plus, he's a young 19. Looking forward to Summer League!

Edit to add this, which is interesting:
Entering the 2024 NBA Draft, Walsh’s nearly 7’2’’ wingspan is the second longest small forward prospect by a quarter inch and longer than a slew of post players. Despite measuring less than inch taller than Ricky Council IV, his wingspan is nearly 5 inches more. He also shot the ball better in the two shooting drills at the NBA Combine. His shot also passes the ey*e test.

Walsh tied with 6 other players for 5th place in the college corner three point shooting drill by hitting 68 percent of his shots. Council IV came in at 48 percent.
 
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Toe Nash

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Yep much less heralded like Rodman.
Rodman was famously unknown, not an athletic standout and literally homeless for a time until he grew 8 inches or whatever at age 19. Then he basically dominated in (a tiny) college. If he had his growth spurt earlier and had been recruited by big schools he probably would have been a top ten pick (if he didn't flunk out). I'm not sure I see the comparison.
 

EL Jeffe

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Walsh's in-game athleticism doesn't really stand out, particularly in relation to NBA players. You just don't see the explosiveness that the top tier NBA athletes possess. He's also a terrible shooter, and was a terrible shooter in high school. He's certainly young enough to improve, but since the shot isn't broken or anything, it's hard to tell what will transform him into a good shooter.

I'd say his path to being an NBA player is the PJ Tucker/Grant Williams mold. High motor, pain in the ass to play against, physical, and switchable defensively. But right now he's a ways off from being able to shoot well enough to be playable. If the shot ever comes around, that's a great value pick. If it doesn't, he can go be Juhann Begarin 2.0 in Europe.
 

TripleOT

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So Brad Stevens has a type. No first rounders allowed. He likes high ceiling, very young former high school studs who for whatever reason didn’t show out in their one and done college apprenticeship. I like the JDD pick last season, and I like this pick. Do this six consecutive summers in a row, and at least one of them will make the rotation some day.

I might be delusional. but I think JJD is in their plans for back of the rotation minutes this season. Having a few disruptive players like JJD and Walsh running around for a few minutes a game in the regular season would be fun.
 

Cellar-Door

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So Brad Stevens has a type. No first rounders allowed. He likes high ceiling, very young former high school studs who for whatever reason didn’t show out in their one and done college apprenticeship. I like the JDD pick last season, and I like this pick. Do this six consecutive summers in a row, and at least one of them will make the rotation some day.

I might be delusional. but I think JJD is in their plans for back of the rotation minutes this season. Having a few disruptive players like JJD and Walsh running around for a few minutes a game in the regular season would be fun.
I have no real clue what the backup guard plan is...
Brad said Pritchard would have to step up in his PC, but it's lying season, still think he gets moved. Seems like a prime opportunity to slide in a good vet to be the 3rd ball handling guard and give JJD the scraps.
 

ifmanis5

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Walsh's in-game athleticism doesn't really stand out, particularly in relation to NBA players. You just don't see the explosiveness that the top tier NBA athletes possess. He's also a terrible shooter, and was a terrible shooter in high school. He's certainly young enough to improve, but since the shot isn't broken or anything, it's hard to tell what will transform him into a good shooter.

I'd say his path to being an NBA player is the PJ Tucker/Grant Williams mold. High motor, pain in the ass to play against, physical, and switchable defensively. But right now he's a ways off from being able to shoot well enough to be playable. If the shot ever comes around, that's a great value pick. If it doesn't, he can go be Juhann Begarin 2.0 in Europe.
This is the correct take.
I will predict that if he does stick with the club somehow, there are a lot of Tommy Points in his future.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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So Brad Stevens has a type. No first rounders allowed. He likes high ceiling, very young former high school studs who for whatever reason didn’t show out in their one and done college apprenticeship. I like the JDD pick last season, and I like this pick. Do this six consecutive summers in a row, and at least one of them will make the rotation some day.

I might be delusional. but I think JJD is in their plans for back of the rotation minutes this season. Having a few disruptive players like JJD and Walsh running around for a few minutes a game in the regular season would be fun.
Danny had the same type (we've talked about this before).

Agree with you that JDD is going to be given every chance to carve out a role. Sam I Am's pet Celtic project.

Walsh's in-game athleticism doesn't really stand out, particularly in relation to NBA players. You just don't see the explosiveness that the top tier NBA athletes possess.
I think Walsh's athleticism is more than explosiveness. On defense, his feet move really well and it looks like he has super quick hands. That combined with his wingspan and his motor should make him into a great defender (if he ever sees the floor).

He'll need some weight to guard NBA 4s but I suspect in G-League, he will be guarding the opposing team's best player every night.