Kemba Walker
Kemba Walker
30-Year-Old GuardG
Boston Celtics
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 in 25.2 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, 4.3 boards 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 a First Team Consensus All-American, and he also captured numerous other accolades.

Off night in OT victory
GBoston Celtics
August 9, 2020
Walker had four points (1-9 FG, 0-5 3PT, 2-3 FT) and six assists in Sunday's win over Orlando.
ANALYSIS
It was arguably Walker's worst offensive performance of the season, but the good news for the Celtics is the point guard played a bubble-high 32 minutes. Since arriving in Orlando, the team has kept a close eye on Walker's workload amid ongoing soreness in his knee. The issue may persist into the postseason, but it's a positive indication that Walker's minutes took a rather dramatic leap after he played 23 minutes in Friday's win over Toronto.
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Past Season Summaries
2018

As great as Walker has been throughout his career, he was even better in 2018-19. He played in all 82 games for the first time since his sophomore season while delivering career-high averages of 25.6 points (10th in the NBA) and 3.2 threes (sixth in the NBA) per game. His 2,102 total points ranked third in the league. As usual, Walker complemented his scoring with strong contributions in assists (5.9 per game, a five-year high), rebounds (4.4 per game, tying his career high) and steals (1.2 per game). In a sign of things to come, he opened the season with a 41-point explosion against the Bucks, ultimately winning Eastern Conference Player of the Week honors for the campaign's opening week. Walker was named Player of the Week a second time in early April after another monstrous three-game stretch. But his biggest game in a season full of big games came Nov. 18 against the Sixers, when the career-long Hornet/Bobcat made 21-of-34 shots en route to a franchise-record 60 points. All told, he scored 30-plus points 28 times, clearing 40 seven times. Walker set a new personal best with nine 3-pointers on Feb. 9 against Atlanta, a 37-point effort. He also racked up 10 double-doubles, falling just short of a triple-double on several occasions. Unsurprisingly, Walker made his third consecutive All-Star game, this time garnering the start at point guard for Team Giannis.

2017

Walker turned in another healthy and explosive season in 2017-18, playing in 80 games while making the All-Star Game for the second straight season. He averaged 22.1 points, 5.6 assists -- his highest mark in that category since 2013-14 -- and 1.1 steals per contest. Walker also put up a career-high 86.4 free-throw percentage. The hard-working veteran led the Hornets in scoring, assists, steals, 3-pointers and minutes played. He made a grand total of 231 shots from downtown, good for fourth in the NBA. Walker exploded for 40-plus points on five separate occasions and 30-plus another nine times. His biggest performance came Nov. 17 against the Bulls, when Walker racked up 47 points on 17-of-27 shooting along with six boards and five assists. He double-doubled three times, including a 34-point, 10-assist performance on Oct. 29 against Orlando. On Dec. 4, Walker lit up the Magic again, this time for 29 points -- including making all 14 of his free throws -- to become the first player in franchise history with 200 games of 20-plus points. On Feb. 4, he set another franchise record with his 930th career 3-pointer, passing Dell Curry. On Mar. 28 against Cleveland, Walker leapfrogged Curry for a franchise record yet again, this time in total points; he wrapped up the season with 9,907 career points.

2016

Walker had his best NBA season yet in 2016-17, reaching new heights offensively for the Hornets. He set new personal bests in points per game (23.2, good for 17th in the NBA), field-goal percentage (.444), made-threes per game (3.0, seventh in the league) and three-point percentage (.399). Walker rounded out his line as usual, adding 5.5 assists, 3.9 rebounds and 1.1 steals per contest while shooting 84.7 percent from the free-throw line. His biggest game of the year came early on -- a 40-point explosion against Toronto on Nov. 11 in which Walker made a career-high-tying seven threes while adding 10 rebounds and seven assists. All told, he scored at least 30 points 15 times and collected eight double-doubles. On Dec. 29 against Miami, he became the fourth player in franchise history to reach 7,000 points. All that impressive work got Walker named to his first All-Star Game; he came off the East's bench to tally seven points and six assists. Walker garnered Eastern Conference Player of the Week honors for the week of Mar. 6 thanks to a three-game run in which he averaged 27.7 points, 6.3 assists and 4.3 rebounds. Then, on Mar. 31, he became only the second Hornet in franchise history to reach 8,000 career points.

2015

Walker was the centerpiece of the 2015-16 Hornets, leading the team in scoring, assists, steals and three-pointers. After going through some knee issues the year before, Walker bounced back to play in 81 games (all starts). In the process, he posted new career highs in points per game (20.9), threes per game (2.2), rebounds per game (4.4), field-goal percentage (42.7), three-point percentage (37.1) and free-throw percentage (84.7). With 5.2 assists and 1.6 steals per game rounding out his stat line, he was a contributor on all fronts. He scored 20-plus points 41 times, putting up 30 or more on 13 occasions. Walker had the game of his career on Jan. 18 against the Jazz, going off for a franchise-record 52 points (16-33 FG, 6-11 3Pt, 14-15 FT) along with nine rebounds, eight assists and two steals. Four days later, on Jan. 22, the UConn product scored another 40 points along with seven boards, nine assists and four steals. Walker picked up a trio of double-doubles, one with an 11-rebound game and the other two with 10-assist efforts. He hit a career-high seven threes Apr. 6 against the Knicks -- contributing to his total of 182 on the year, which ranked 13th in the NBA. Walker and the Hornets went 48-34 and made the playoffs, ultimately falling to the Heat in seven games. He posted a 34-point effort in Game 4, then upped the ante with 37 points in Game 6. All told, he averaged 22.7 points and 4.0 assists in the postseason.

2014

Walker's fourth season in The Association saw him deliver another campaign of well-rounded productivity. He led the newly-renamed Hornets with 17.3 points per game, adding 5.1 assists and 1.4 steals. Over the course of his first 42 games (all starts), Walker was averaging what would have been a carer-high 18.8 points per game. That included a career-high 42 points against Orlando on Dec. 27. Walker scored 30-plus points four other times. He was named named Player of the Week for Jan. 5-11 after averaging 30.3 points over four games (all wins). Unfortunately, everything changed when he was diagnosed with a torn left meniscus in late January. Walker hurried back from his surgery recovery in early March after an absence of just over six weeks. He played the remainder of the season at less than full strength, averaging 14.3 points per game over the remaining 20 contests (16 starts). Nonetheless, Walker collected two of his four double-doubles after returning to the court.

2013

Walker's third NBA season saw him start all 73 of his appearances while continuing his growth on the court for the Bobcats. He duplicated his sophomore campaign's 17.7 points per game while improving as a distributor with a career-high 6.1 assists per contest. For the second straight season, he raised both his 3-point percentage (33.3 this time) and his free-throw percentage (83.7). He scored 20-plus points on 32 occasions and cleared 30 points five times. On Dec. 9, Walker scored the Bobcats' last 15 points (and 31 total) to help beat the Warriors. In his biggest offensive performance, Dec. 20 against Detroit, Walker hit 12-of-17 shots en route to 34 points, seven rebounds, three assists, three steals and a block. He posted the second triple-double of his career on Apr. 4 against Orlando, notching 13 points with 10 boards and 10 assists. Walker double-doubled on nine occasions, including setting a new career high with 16 dimes alongside 24 points on Feb. 19 against Detroit. That game contributed to him being named Eastern Conference Player of the Week on Feb. 24. Walker and Al Jefferson combined to lead the Bobcats to the playoffs. The point guard averaged 19.5 points and 6.0 assists across four games in the team's first-round loss to Miami, including setting a new franchise record with 29 points on 11-of-15 shooting in the deciding Game 4.

2012

Walker's sophomore NBA season saw him play in all 82 games for the Bobcats -- his second-straight year without missing a game to open his career. He drastically improved his stats nearly across the board, jumping his scoring average to 17.7 points along with 5.7 assists and 2.0 steals per game. That steal rate was fifth in the league, and his 160 total steals ranked fourth. He recorded a career-high eight steals (plus 26 points and seven assists) Nov. 10 during a home win over Dallas. Walker's field-goal percentage, 36.6 in his rookie year, leapt to 42.3, and his 3-point shooting ticked up to 32.2 percent. The UConn product opened the season with the highest-scoring game of his career to that point, dropping 30 points on the Pacers, but that was only the beginning for Walker. He went on to score 30-plus points another three times, ultimately setting a new career high with 35 on Jan. 21 against Houston. Walker made a career-high six threes on seven attempts in that game. He also delivered five double-doubles, including a career-high 13 assists to go with 23 points in a win over the Knicks on Apr. 15.

2011

Taken out of UConn by Charlotte with the ninth overall pick in the 2011 draft, Walker showed plenty of potential in his lockout-shortened rookie campaign. He played in all 66 games, with 25 starts, and averaged of 12.1 points, 4.4 assists, 3.5 rebounds, 1.0 three-pointer and 0.9 steals per contest. He piled up 44 games with double-digit points and scored at least 20 on nine occasions. The rookie guard made his NBA debut on opening night, Dec. 26, and posted 13 points, seven boards and three dimes in a home win over the Bucks. Walker's highest-scoring game occurred Jan. 14 in a win over the Warriors, when he dropped 23 points with four rebounds, five assists, two steals and a block. His most impressive game of the year came two weeks later, Jan. 28, against Washington, when Walker delivered only the third triple-double in franchise history with 20 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds. He also double-doubled Apr. 22 with another 11-assist performance alongside 13 points.

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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.
Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring Kemba Walker
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4 days ago
With Joel Embiid the only player over $10K on today's slate, Juan Carlos Blanco analyzes whether he is worth the extra money.
FanDuel NBA: Friday Value Plays
4 days ago
Based on an increasing workload and a bargain price tag, Joel Bartilotta feels Kemba Walker should easily outperform his value tonight.
DraftKings NBA: Wednesday Cheat Sheet
6 days ago
Can Nikola Jokic exceed value against a Spurs team with an inexperienced center rotation?
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
Minutes limit increased to 32
GBoston Celtics
August 8, 2020
Walker, who is expected to play in two of the Celtics' final three games, is having his minutes limit upped to 30-32 minutes, Jared Weiss of The Athletic reports.
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Takes it easy in victory
GBoston Celtics
August 7, 2020
Walker finished with 17 points (6-14 FG, 4-10 3Pt, 1-1 FT), four assists, three rebounds and one block in 23 minutes during Friday's 122-100 victory over the Raptors.
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Minutes limit upped to 30
GBoston Celtics
August 7, 2020
Walker's minutes restriction has been increased to 30, Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe reports.
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To play Tuesday, rest Wednesday
GBoston Celtics
August 4, 2020
Walker will play Tuesday against the Heat before resting for Wednesday's game against Brooklyn, Celtics play-by-play man Sean Grande reports.
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Effective in limited action
GBoston Celtics
August 3, 2020
Walker totaled 14 points (5-6 FG, 2-2 3Pt, 2-2 FT), one rebound, two assists and one block in Sunday's 128-124 win over Portland.
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