In his second season with the Celtics, Walker appeared in 43 out of 72 regular season games and three of their five playoff games. The former All-Star averaged 19.3 points, 4.9 assists, 1.1 steals and 3.0 made threes per game. Boston brass decided to not play Walker in the second of back-to-backs due to knee issues. Knee soreness also forced Walker to miss the first 11 games of the season. On Apr. 9, Walker dished a season-best nine assists during a home win over the Timberwolves. Walker scored 30-plus points five times during the season. On May 11, the veteran point guard scored a season-high 36 points, plus added seven boards and four assists during a home loss to the Heat. Walker had three games in which he hit six three-pointers. During the Play-In win over Washington on May 18, Walker posted 29 points (10-24 FG, 6-14 3Pt, 3-3 FT), eight rebounds and two steals.
After spending his first eight NBA seasons in Charlotte, Walker joined the Celtics via a midsummer trade ahead of the 2019-20 season. He went on to play in 56 games (all starts) for Boston during the pandemic-shortened campaign, clearing 20-plus points per game (20.4) for a fifth consecutive year while making his fourth straight All-Star team. Despite knee issues costing him some time and limiting his minutes throughout the season, Walker matched his career highs in threes per game (3.2) and free-throw percentage (86.4) while rounding out his stat line with 3.9 rebounds and 4.8 assists per contest. He was also 10th in the NBA in charges drawn (0.29) per game. With Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Gordon Hayward around to share the scoring load, Walker and the Celtics went 48-24 in the regular season before making a deep playoff run. He delivered 30-plus points on 10 occasions, clearing 40 points twice. On Dec. 11, he set his season high with 44 points — including seven threes — along with seven assists and two steals against Indiana. A little over a month later, the 29-year-old delivered a 40-point, 11-rebound double-double against Milwaukee. Walker offered much of the same across Boston’s 17-game run to the Eastern Conference Finals, averaging 19.6 points, 4.1 rebounds and 5.1 assists. He scored 32 points in the decisive Game 4 of the first round against Philadelphia, then double-doubled with 18 points and 10 assists (a career playoff high) in Game 1 of the second round against Toronto.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.