Kemba Walker
Kemba Walker
29-Year-Old GuardG
Boston Celtics
GTD
Injury Hand
Est. Return 4/12/2020
2019 Fantasy Outlook
Kemba can finally relax a bit, as he will no longer have to carry his team's scoring load on a nightly basis, as he did with Charlotte. With the Celtics, he's now on a roster with more skill and depth at every position compared to last year's Hornets squad. The resulting statistical outcome could be fewer points, more assists and more efficient shooting percentages for the veteran point guard. This year, Walker has legitimate drive-and-dish options in Jayson Tatum, Gordon Hayward, Jaylen Brown and even Marcus Smart. And while it's fair to criticize Enes Kanter's defense, the 6-foot-11 center can catch most passes and finish with a strong layup. Fantasy owners should have concerns about Walker's minutes, however. In Charlotte, Walker was a lock for 34-plus minutes per contest. That should decline a bit with Boston, as coach Brad Stevens prefers a deeper rotation, resting his vets for the expected playoff run. But this is nitpicking. Walker is a model of consistency, averaging 80.5 games played over his past four seasons. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a four-year, $140.79 million contract with the Hornets in July of 2019. Traded to the Celtics in July of 2019. Contract includes $37.65 million player option for 2022-23.
Personal Bio

Kemba Hudley Walker is the son of Paul and Andrea Walker. The point guard has three siblings: Sharifa Nesbitt, Akil Nesbitt and Keya Edwards. Walker grew up in the Bronx borough of New York. During his days at Rice High School, he was named to the 2007-08 McDonald's All American team after his senior season. While at the University of Connecticut, Walker majored in sociology. During the summer of 2010, Walker was one of 10 collegiate athletes named to the USA Select Team that trained with the U.S. National Team from August 10 to 13 in preparation for the 2010 FIBA World Championships. Every summer, Kemba returns to his hometown Bronx to host a free basketball camp for the area's youth. In 2016-17 and then again in 2017-18, Walker was awarded the NBA Sportsmanship Award, which is given to a player who most "exemplifies the ideals of sportsmanship on the court with ethical behavior, fair play and integrity." You can follow Walker on Facebook, and at instagram @_kw15 and on twitter @kembawalker.

College/International Summary

Kemba Walker showed incredible improvement during his three year stint at the University of Connecticut. During his freshman season, he appeared in all 36 of UConn's games, averaging 8.9 points, 3.5 rebounds, 2.9 assists and an impressive 1.1 steals over 25 minutes per contest. He was also named to the Big East All-Rookie Team. In his sophomore year, he started 34 games for the Huskies, increasing his production to 14.6 points, 5.1 assists and 2.1 steals per game. But Walker, as a junior, delivered true success during the 2010-11 season, leading the Huskies to their third National Championship. In his third season, he improved his scoring to 23.5 points per game. Walker was named the NCAA Basketball Tournament's Most Outstanding Player as well as First Team Consensus All-American, in addition to numerous other awards.

Ends up logging 30 minutes
GBoston Celtics
Hand
March 10, 2020
Walker (hand) finished with 11 points (3-12 FG, 2-8 3Pt, 3-4 FT), three rebounds and two assists in 30 minutes during Tuesday's 114-111 win over the Pacers.
ANALYSIS
Walker briefly exited the contest in the second quarter due to an apparent left hand injury but ultimately returned to action. Still, he struggled from the field, and fantasy owners should likely keep tabs on him heading into Thursday's matchup versus Milwaukee.
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Past Season Summaries
2011

Kemba Walker, the ninth overall pick in the 2011 draft, finished his rookie season with room for improvement. The challenging Bobcats roster provided plenty of opportunity for Walker to shine, but Walker did not always grab the spotlight. An injury to D.J. Augustine left Walker as the starting point guard. The main issue of concern was Walker's rough 36.6% field goal shooting. His 4.4 assists per game will hopefully increase once Charlotte adds more talent to the roster. In a home win over Washington, Walker produced his first ever triple-double, supplying 20 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists. He was only the third Bobcat to have a triple-double. Walker's Bobcats finished the lockout shortened season with a disappointing 7-59 record.

2012

Kemba Walker demonstrated consistent improvement throughout his second year in the NBA. Walker managed to play in all 82 games for the Bobcats, improving his per game averages in points, assists, steals and three pointers relative to his rookie season. Walkers improved shooting and scoring production was probably what most impressed the Bobcat front office. His scoring improved from 12.1 to 17.7 points per game and his overall shooting percentage increased from a frustrating rookie level of 37% to a respectable 42%, with room for more upside. The sophomore guard led the Bobcats in scoring. Walker also finished with 160 steals, ranking him fourth league wide. Walker's Bobcats finished the season with a challenging 21-61 record.

2013

Kemba Walker's third season led to his first ever playoff appearance. Walker scored 17.7 points per season, repeating last season's scoring production, which nicely complemented Al Jefferson's 21.8 average. The two provided a quality inside outside combination for the Bobcats. Walker led the team in assists, steals, three pointers and made free throws. On December 9th, Walker scored the Bobcats' last 15 points (and 31 total) to help beat the Warriors. On December 20th, Walker produced 34 points, a season-high, in a win at Detroit. On February 24th, Walker was named Eastern Conference Player of the Week, having averaged 22.5 points and 8.8 assists per contest over four straight wins. And on April 4th, Walker supplied his second career triple-double in a victory over the Magic. Walker's Bobcats finished the year at a surprising 43-39 and were swept in the first round of the playoffs by the Miami Heat. Walker averaged 19.5 points and 6.0 assists through the four playoff losses.

2014

Kemba Walker's fourth season in the Association led to the point regard returning as Charlotte's top scorer. With Mo Williams able to play in only 27 games, the newly renamed Hornets needed Walker to lead the backcourt while Al Jefferson was again Charlotte's main inside threat. Walker produced 17.3 points, 5.1 assists and 1.4 three pointers per game. This marked the third season in a row that Walker averaged a bit more than 17 points per contest. Forced to miss time after having surgery on his torn left meniscus, Walker posted his worst point, rebound, and assist averages since his rookie season and shot 39 percent from the field. Considering Walker hurried back in early March from the surgery to help with the Hornets' attempted playoff push, the slight dip in production was understandable. On the positive, the point guard improved his ball security, committing a career-low 1.6 turnovers per game. On January 12th, Walker was named Player of the Week, after Walker had led the Hornets to five straight wins. Walker's Hornets finished the season a frustrating 33-49, losing 11 of their last 14 games. They did not make the playoffs.

2015

The 2015-16 Charlotte Hornets would have been in trouble without Kemba Walker, who led the team in total points, assists, steals and three pointers. The five year veteran reached the 20 points per game plateau for the first time in his career, averaging 20.9 points, 5.2 assists and 4.4 rebounds per contest. On January 18th, Walker exploded for 52 points in a double-OT win over the Jazz. His 52 points scored were both a career-high and a franchise record. That performance, plus three other solid games, led to Walker being named Player Of the Week on January 25th. Later in March, Walker would win another Player of the Week award, marking the fourth time in his career he would receive that recognition. Having appeared in 81 games averaging 36 minutes played per content, Walker ended the year ranked 3rd in the league in total minutes played. His 182 three pointers also ranked 13th league-wide. Walker's Hornets would end the season with a 48-34 record and face the Heat in the first round of the playoffs. Despite Walker's 22.7 points and 4.0 assists per game, plus 94% shooting from the charity stripe, the Hornets would lose in seven games to Miami.

2016

In his sixth season in the NBA, the 26-year-old Kemba Walker continued to show improvement. Walker experienced career highs in points per game (23.2), field goal shooting (44%) and three point shooting (40%). On November 11th, Walker erupted for 40 points, 10 boards and seven assists in a tough loss to the Raptors. Walker collected his 7,000th career point with the Hornets on December 29th, becoming the fourth player in franchise history to reach that plateau. In late January, Walker was named to his first career All-Star Game, where he came off the bench to score seven points and six assists as a reserve for the East squad. On March 6th, Walker was named Eastern Conference Player of the Week for a three game run in which he averaged 27.7 points, 6.3 assists and 4.3 rebounds per contest. On March 31st, Walker became only the second Hornet in franchise history to reach 8,000 career points. Overall, Walker at 15 games in which he scored 30 or more points. He also had eight double-doubles. Walker's Hornets finish 36-46 and did not make the playoffs.

2017

In his seventh season in the Association, Kemba Walker once again demonstrated why he's one of the league's best point guards. Over an impressive 80 games, Walker averaged 22.1 points, 5.6 assists and 1.1 steals per contest. He also averaged over 32 minutes of playing time, while only committing 2.2 turnovers per game. The hard working veteran led the Hornets in points, assists, steals, three pointers and minutes played. On November 17th, Walker exploded for 47 points in a loss at Chicago. On December 4th, Walker became the first player in franchise history with 200 career 20-point games. On February 4th, the veteran guard hit his 930th career three pointer, passing Dell Curry for the franchise record. Later in February, Walker replaced New York Knick Kirstaps Porzingis in the 2018 All-Star Game for his second consecutive ASG appearance. Walker's Hornets ended the season at 36-46 for the second straight year and did not make the playoffs. Walker finished the season fourth in the league in three pointers, draining 231 shots from behind the arc. Next year is the last season of Walker's current contract with the Hornets.

2018

Over the 2018-19 season, Kemba Walker was once again Charlotte's unquestioned leader. The star point guard lead the Hornets in points, assists, steals, three pointers and minutes played. For the second time in his career, Walker played in all 82 games. The steady veteran has averaged an impressive 76 games per season over his eight year career. Walker's 25.6 points per game was a 3.5 point improvement over last year and a career high. Walker started hot and was named Player of The Week on Oct. 22, after the first three games of the season. He won that honor a second time on April 8th after averaging 30.7 points per game in three straight wins. On Nov. 18, Walker caught fire for 60 points (a career-high and franchise-best mark) in an OT loss to Philadelphia. In February, Walker participated in his third All-Star game, starting at point guard for Team Giannis. During a four-game winning streak in late March, Walker averaged a near triple-double of 30 points, 9.8 assists and 8.3 rebounds per contest. Walker's Hornets finished at 39-43 and did not make the playoffs. The feisty guard finished the season third in minutes played, third in made field goals, third in total points, ninth in minutes per game and tenth in points per game. Cardiac Kemba was also named to the All-NBA 3rd Team.

2019
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Transaction History
  • June 23, 2011
    Drafted by the Charlotte Bobcats in the 1st round (9th pick) of the 2011 NBA Draft.
  • July 6, 2019
    Signed a four-year contract with the Hornets in July of 2019. Immediately traded to the Boston Celtics for Terry Rozier and a swap of 2nd round 2020 draft picks. Contract includes player option for 2022-23.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
2018
2017
2016
2015
2014
2013
2012
2011
Walker has made the All-Star team each of the past two seasons, averaging 22.6 points, 5.5 assists, 3.5 rebounds and 1.1 steals. His name was all over the NBA leaderboards last season, ranking top-15 in minutes played (2,736), points (1,770), made three-pointers (231), made free-throws (361) and assists (444). This season, he may have an opportunity to climb those leaderboards even higher. Dwight Howard’s presence last season knocked Walker’s usage rate from 29.2 percent to 27.4 percent. The experiment was ultimately deemed a failure, however, with the Hornets opting to send Dwight Howard to Brooklyn, where he was waived and then signed with Washington. However, a high-usage and/or dynamic player was not added in his stead, leaving Walker with essentially the same crew he had in 2016-17, when he set a career high in usage. And, considering Walker is still relatively young (28 years old) and in a contract year with the Eastern Conference now weaker, it’s not a stretch to think he could be in store for a career year.
After making his first All-Star appearance in 2016, Walker has plenty to build off of going into his seventh season in the NBA. While he saw some solid increases in his numbers across the board, Charlotte won just 36 games last season, 12 fewer than their impressive 48-win season in 2015. It was no fault of Walker's, though, as he led the team with 23.2 points per game and added 3.9 rebounds, 5.5 assists and 1.1 steals per game. The 1.1 steals appear solid overall, but that's actually a major hit from a guy who averaged 1.6 steals per game across his previous four seasons. It's possible that the added focus, offensively, ultimately hurt him on the defensive side of the ball, as Walker had to do more for this team than he ever has throughout his career. With Dwight Howard in the fold, Walker now has a strong-finishing big man with which to work in the pick-and-roll, and Howard should also relieve some of the defensive responsibility. Walker also dominated the ball for Charlotte, posting a 29.1 usage rate, the only Charlotte player in the top-75 in the league in that statistic. That trend should continue, keeping Walker as a potential top-10 point guard in the majority of Fantasy leagues.
Walker rebounded in a major way last season after somewhat of a disappointing 2014-15 campaign. In his fifth NBA season, Walker averaged career highs in scoring (20.9 points per game) and rebounds (4.4), to go with 5.2 assists per game. He also shot a career-best 42.7 percent from the floor, while knocking down 37.1 percent of his three-point attempts, nearly four points better than his previous career high. While Walker missed out on his first All-Star selection, he solidified himself as one of the top point guards in the Eastern Conference. As he enters his age-26 season, Walker will look to prove his 2015-16 production wasn't a fluke, particularly from an efficiency standpoint. He might have to sacrifice a little usage with Michael Kidd-Gilchrist slated to return after missing most of the past season due to injury, but as a defense-first player, Kidd-Gilchrist's presence shouldn't affect Walker in an especially noticeable way.
In his fourth season, Walker produced 17.3 points on 15.8 field goal attempts, 3.5 rebounds, 5.1 assists, 1.4 steals, and 0.5 blocks in 34 minutes per game through 62 games. Forced to miss time after having surgery on his torn left meniscus, Walker posted his worst point, rebound, and assist averages since his rookie season and shot 39 percent from the field, 30 percent from distance, and 83 percent from the free-throw line. There's no denying the career 40 percent shooter needs to improve his scoring efficiency going forward. Still, Walker is coming off a career-best 1.6 turnovers per game, and the Hornets' devotion to adding outside shooters this summer may help open up the driving lanes for the 25-year-old smooth-handling sky-walker.
Finally getting some additional offensive help in Lance Stephenson, Kemba Walker could be poised for a breakout season. With a bevy of early draft picks (Cody Zeller, Noah Vonleh, P.J. Hairston) and free-agent acquisitions (Al Jefferson, Lance Stephenson, Marvin Williams) over the last two years, Walker finally has a competent team to play with, and his offensive numbers should continue to rise. Our projections see him averaging around 20 points with six assists and two steals per game. If he's in that ballpark, he'll be a top 10-15 fantasy player. Still just 24 years old, Walker should be just about ready to hit his prime and is more than likely going to have his best year in terms of advanced metrics (expect higher assist rate, true shooting percentage, and arguably a lower turnover rate). What it means for fantasy remains to be seen, but he's as big of a high-end sleeper as you'll probably find.
Cheer up, Bobcats fans. At least you have Kemba Walker. The ex-UConn star's sophomore campaign is one (of very few) reasons NBA fans in the Carolinas can be optimistic about the future. He played in all 82 games, averaging just under 35 minutes per game, and improved in every phase of the game last season, boosting his scoring to 17.7 ppg (from 12.1), his assists to 5.7 (from 4.4), his steals from 0.9 to 2.2 and his overall shooting percentage from a ghastly 37 percent to a respectable 42 percent from the floor – thanks in part to improved shot selection. Of course, he still has plenty of room for improvement – he turns the ball over far too often, and his three-point shot (32 percent) should probably be labeled "For emergency use only." The presence of free-agent signee Al Jefferson - an honest-to-goodness low-post scoring threat – should help diversify the Bobcats' offense a bit, but Walker is still the team's primary (only?) real option on the perimeter, and should continue to put up very good numbers.
Walker had a mostly lackluster rookie campaign for an awful Bobcats team, scoring 12.1 points per game on a horrid 36.6 percent shooting. The shooting should only improve in his second year, but likely not enough for it to be anything but below average for a point guard. Instead, Walker’s value will be rooted in the significant playing time he is expected to receive, which would allow him to accumulate solid scoring, assist and rebound numbers. Mostly coming off the bench as a backup to D.J. Augustin last season, Walker managed to receive 27.2 minutes per game, putting up 4.4 assists, 3.6 rebounds, and 0.9 steals per game in addition to his scoring numbers. Even though he faces a similar situation to last season, albeit with a different veteran (Ramon Sessions) playing ahead of him, Walker should reach 30 minutes of action in sophomore season. Walker will need to improve his shooting to be considered a remotely elite option at the position, but his respectable all-around numbers should make him at least deserving of a roster spot in most leagues.
Walker is another score-first point guard that Charlotte added to the roster in the 2011 draft. Walker should see plenty of time in a rotation that could mainly revolve around Augustin, Henderson and himself. There is not much scoring punch on the Bobcats this year so Walker could be asked to just put the ball in the net whenever he can. It would not be surprising to see Walker average double-digit points per game by the end of the season.
More Fantasy News
Heads to locker room
GBoston Celtics
Hand
March 10, 2020
Walker went to the locker room during the second quarter of Tuesday's game against the Pacers with what appears to be a left hand injury, Jared Weiss of The Athletic reports.
ANALYSIS
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Shot doesn't fall in loss
GBoston Celtics
March 7, 2020
Walker posted 13 points (5-17 FG, 1-7 3Pt, 2-2 FT), seven assists and three rebounds across 27 minutes during Friday's 99-94 loss to the Jazz.
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Minutes restriction increased
GBoston Celtics
March 6, 2020
Walker (knee) will have an expanded minutes limit Friday against the Jazz after playing 23 minutes Tuesday.
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Not traveling to Cleveland
GBoston Celtics
Rest
March 3, 2020
Walker won't travel to Cleveland on Wednesday for the second half of a back-to-back set against the Cavaliers, Jay King of The Athletic reports.
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Will be limited to 25 minutes
GBoston Celtics
March 3, 2020
Walker will face a minutes limit of around 20-to-25 minutes Tuesday night against the Nets, Chris Forsberg of NBC Sports Boston reports.
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