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Let’s begin the Celtics season reviews with the rookie pair that could someday leave their mark on the NBA and hopefully on the Celtics. J.R. Giddens and Bill Walker were the top two draft picks for the Celtics before last season. Giddens was the Celtics’ first round pick and Walker was acquired from a trade with Washington during draft night.
Giddens, originally the more highly touted player, barely played this past year for the Celtics. Despite being injured most of his college career, Walker earned some playing time. Both spent much of the year in the NBA D-League this season and were very impressive with the Utah Flash.
Giddens came out of New Mexico and was the last pick in the first round of the 2008 NBA Draft. He only managed to appear in six total games for the Celtics and did barely anything in the eight minutes he played this year. He had a total of four points for the Celts, but played exceptionally well in the D-League.
In the D-League, Giddens averaged 17.2 points, 6.3 rebounds, and three assists per game. He appeared in twenty six games for the Flash and started all but three of them. He also appeared in each of the Flash’s playoff games, including their Finals appearance.
Giddens will hopefully see some more time next season after having a successful year in the development league. He is still a nice prospect for the Celtics and they will hope to utilize him in the future.
The other rookie for the Celtics had a much more productive season then his earlier drafted teammate. Walker was drafted by the Washington Wizards as the 47th overall pick, but was traded to the Celtics later on during draft night last season. Walker’s draft value dropped due to his knee injury worries, but he proved to be quite valuable after a nice rookie season in the NBA.
Walker also spent time in the D-League, but much less then Giddens. He played in only 15 games for the Flash and averaged 18.9 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 1.5 assists per game. Walker had some great minutes in the NBA and really put on a show a few times.
Walker appeared in 29 games for the Celtics and averaged 7.4 points, 1 rebound, and 0.4 assists per game. Walker even saw some time on the big stage for the Celtics in the playoffs and appeared four total games in the first two rounds.
Walker looks to continue to impress Boston fans with his surprising play for a young player and will hopefully see some more minutes next season with a bigger role off the bench. Walker has a bright future in the NBA as long as those injuries that were problems for him in college become a thing of the past.