There’s a simple explanation why Boston Celtics head coach Doc Rivers never gave Bill Walker a chance; there’s no room for poor decision-making on a championship-caliber roster.
Walker came over as part of the Nate Robinson deal before the 2010 trade deadline to a depleted Knicks team already looking ahead to an epic summer of free agency.
Lacking any depth to work with, D’Antoni gave Walker his first opportunity to showcase his entire skill set after almost two years in the league—even starting him 13 of the 27 games he appeared in.
Including Toney Douglas, Walker was one of the lone bright spots as the season wound down. He averaged 11.9 points on 52 percent from the floor, 3.1 rebounds and close to one steal in approximately 27 minutes per game.
But, his 43 percent shooting from three-point range was most astonishing, especially in light of the fact Walker had failed to attempt a single shot from beyond the arc prior to his arrival in New York.
Apparently, Walker had solidified himself as a member of the 2010-11 rotation, but it couldn’t be further from the truth. As the season progressed, Walker saw his playing time continually diminish, and the emergence of Shawne Williams didn’t bode well.
Walker made an occasional impact, most notably with a 23-point outburst against the Utah Jazz in early January. He even was acknowledged for his improbable leaping ability with a monstrous dunk featured on SportsCenter’s top 10.
However, Walker often played erratically and became trigger-happy and overly reliant on the three-ball. Actually, he was a microcosm of the team in general when ball movement deteriorated and players were lackadaisical, as was habitually the case during the third and fourth quarters.
Walker’s irresponsible and haphazard style resulted in a career-low 44 percent field goal percentage and ultimately wore out his welcome.
The addition of Iman Shumpert has created a logjam at shooting guard. With Walker due to make $916,000 next season, the Knicks should toss him in as trade baggage or buy him out. Either way, it’s not a major loss.