30. Jamal Crawford
Crawford’s flashy dribbles would lack substance without a consistent jump-shot to pair it with. The 19-year veteran averaged at least one made three per game since his second season in the NBA. Crawford walked into any arena ready to shoot. His fancy ball handling has fooled countless defenders, and all Crawford needs is a little bit of space to get his high release jumper off. The eighth pick in the 2000 NBA Draft holds the all-time record for most career four-point plays with 54.
29. Jason Kapono
UCLA’s all-time leader in three-point percentage was a three-point specialist during his nine-year career that included stops in Miami, Toronto and Philadelphia. One of the most impressive three-point contestants we’ve ever seen, Kapono won the event in back-to-back years with scores of 24 and 25 out of a possible 30. Having only averaged 6.7 points per game throughout his career, Kapono is the prime example of not having to be a great overall player to be a great shooter.
28. Chauncey Billups
Mr. Big Shot didn’t earn his nickname without hitting a few (hundred) timely three-point shots. From 2002-2009 (the entirety of Billups’ tenure with the Pistons), nobody made more postseason threes than Billups. During that span, Billups made 242 threes — 72 more than second place (Manu Ginobili). Instead of relying on elite athleticism, Billups utilized a crafty dribble and a deadly outside jump-shot to overwhelm his opponents.
27. Paul Pierce
Pierce proved that great shooters don’t always need the prettiest of looking shots. The Celtics legend utilized more of a push shot to knock down the 2,143 threes he made during his career. Always a great scorer, Pierce didn’t start gaining notoriety as a shooter until Boston formed “The Big Three.” In the trio’s four full seasons together, Pierce made 1.6 threes per game at a 38.7-percent clip. In 2010, Pierce won All-Star weekend’s Three-Point contest, beating out a field that included a rookie named Stephen Curry.
26. Jason Terry
A career journeyman, Terry’s most heralded stop was his eight-year run with the Dallas Mavericks. It was there that Terry won the Sixth Man of the Year award. He also capped off a brilliant playoff run with the franchise’s first championship ring in 2011. During that postseason, Terry made a ridiculous 44.2 percent of his threes, which included a white-hot 9-for-10 performance against the Lakers that ultimately sent the defending champs home packing.
25. Kevin Durant
Durant would have been a great basketball player even if he were born 6-feet tall, but that extra length sure does help. Defenders are helpless once Durant decides to raise up and shoot. Not only is he an accurate marksman from well beyond 30-feet, but his high release coupled with his spider-like arms render any form of contest useless. His abilities don’t dwindle down the stretch either, as proven by his clutch triples at the end of Game 3 in both the 2017 and 2018 NBA Finals.
24. Michael Redd
The sweet-shooting lefty from Ohio State came into the league firing. By the time he was a full-time starter (Year 3), Redd was already hoisting 6.5 threes per 36 minutes — a number that closely resembles what you would see in today’s game. A 2004 NBA All-Star, Redd had the ability to get his shot off whenever he liked due to a lighting-fast release. Had it not been for a series of unfortunate injuries, Redd’s name would be much higher in the record books.
23. Mike Miller
The 2001 NBA Rookie of The Year reinvented himself as a player on several occasions, but the most effective version of Miller was when he was shooting the basketball from the outside. 38th all-time in three-pointers made and 29th in percentage is the reason Miller was able to sustain his level of play for the seven different franchises he played for. And if you can make a three on one shoe like Miller infamously did in the 2014 NBA Finals, you deserve a spot on this list.
22. J.R. Smith
Smith’s picture-perfect release should be used by shooting coaches for the rest of time. The enigmatic star is one of the streakiest players to ever play in the NBA, and when Smith has it going, he can become virtually unstoppable from beyond the arc. After seeing his athleticism dwindle during stops in New Orleans, Denver and New York, Smith joined a contending Cavaliers team in hopes of providing an outside shooting threat for LeBron James. His most memorable moment in his four seasons as a Cavalier may have come in Year 1 when he went 8-of-12 from three in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals against the 60-win Atlanta Hawks.
21. Dirk Nowitzki
Standing at just about 7-feet tall, Nowitzki is widely considered the greatest big man shooter to ever grace the court. Nowitzki’s high release point and deep range has given defenders fits since he’s been in the league. While he does a majority of his work from the mid-range, his three-point shot is what separates him from the rest of the power forwards in the league.
20. Jeff Hornacek
New York’s former head coach was also a dead-eye shooter during his career that spanned 14 seasons. Hornacek flirted with the 50-40-90 club on several occasions, and was consistently near the top of the league leaders in three-point percentage. Getting open looks from greats like John Stockton, Karl Malone, Tom Chambers and Kevin Johnson helps, but you still have to make the shot, which Hornacek did time and time again.
19. Chris Mullin
Mitch Richmond was great, but not even considered the best shooter of the famed Run-TMC trio. That distinction would belong to Mullin, a sweet-shooting lefty that could get his shot off whenever he wanted to. A lightning quick release accompanied with deep range made Mullin a tough guard each and every night. He didn’t attempt many due to his skills in other areas, but when Mullin started heating up from the outside, he could put up points in bunches.
18. Mark Price
Price regularly lit up scoreboards throughout his illustrious career. The longtime Cleveland point guard paved the way for guards that could fill up stat sheets in a number of ways, and he was able to do that because of the threat of his outside shot. Although it looks rather pedestrian compared to the numbers we see today, at the time, Price was hoisting a high-volume of three point shots and converting on a comparably efficient clip. Also one of the best free-throw shooters in league history, Price was automatic from all spots on the floor.
17. James Harden
There’s something to be said for a player that is efficient from three while being the number one scoring option on his team. James Harden is a prolific scorer from every spot on the court, but when teams were worried about him getting to the basket, he burned them from the outside. Harden’s lethal step-back gives him just enough room to hoist a long range jumper over helpless defenders. He’s one of the best the league has ever seen at creating his own three-point opportunities off of a live dribble.
16. Craig Hodges
An impressive 3-time NBA three-point contest winner, Hodges is arguably the most overlooked shooter in recent history. Equipped with a funky jump shot and short in stature, the former Chicago Bull dominated three-point contests in the early 90’s. He also wasn’t bad during actual games either, as he shot a solid 40 percent from the outside throughout his career. He wasn’t quite as prolific of a shooter as others on this list, but a three-peat in a contest that hosts the NBA’s best shooters justifies his place on this list.
15. Steve Kerr
The NBA’s all-time leader in three-point percentage, Kerr used fortuitous situations and dead-eye shooting to build a great career. Playing with greats like Michael Jordan, Tim Duncan and Scottie Pippen was the perfect recipe for Kerr, as he was more of an off-guard than a point guard despite his smaller frame. Posting multiple seasons in which he shot better than 50 percent from the three-point line, Kerr played a big part in five separate NBA title runs.
14. Larry Bird
One of the very best to ever play the game, Bird was just as good at shooting as he was at everything else on a basketball court. Known for his unorthodox form, Larry Legend was an impossible match-up because of the threat of his outside game. With three three-point shootout victories and countless clutch threes, Bird will be on this list for decades to come.
13. Glen Rice
The smooth-shooting wing from Michigan currently ranks 42nd all-time in three pointers made and virtually only trails players that came into the league after he did. Rice was a trailblazer for the three-point shot in the 90’s and was the league’s premier outside shooter for the majority of his career. His 6-foot-8 frame made it easier for him to get good looks over smaller defenders and his high release made him almost impossible to block. He paved the way for today’s brand of three-point focused basketball, showing the league just how effective it could be.
12. Buddy Hield
Buddy Hield is rising the ranks of the league’s most prolific shooters. And, he’s doing so at a faster rate than we’ve ever seen before. Seriously, Hield can get shots from the outside up in a hurry. Hield holds the record for the fastest three-pointer made in a game at just three seconds. That same year (2022), Hield became the fastest player to reach 1,000 career threes. He’ll likely also be the fastest to 2,000 in short order. At his current pace, he’s got a great chance to end his career top-5 in three-pointers made.
11. J.J. Redick
One of the greatest to ever don a Blue Devil uniform, it took some time for Redick to adapt to the NBA game. He started off a bit shaky in Orlando, but found his footing and quickly evolved into one of the best knockdown shooters the game has ever seen. His shot is perfection, and should be featured on videotapes teaching young players how to shoot for the rest of time. What truly separates him though is how effective he is off the ball, a necessary trait for any great shooter. With an unlimited gas tank, quick feet, and deadly range, J.J. Redick carved out an impressive career for himself.
10. Damian Lillard
What separates Lillard from other great three-point shooters is the range in which most of his attempts occur from. As your stray further and further away from the basket, the percentage that you’re able to convert typically dips. That doesn’t always apply to Lillard, who routinely knocks down jumpers from near the center-court line. The pressure his jumpshooting ability applies on defenses is only matched in today’s game by Stephen Curry. There’s simply no defense for a player who can sink 35-footers with regularity.
9. Dale Ellis
Arguably the best pure shooter of the 80’s, Ellis was an absolute nightmare to defend on the perimeter. Quick as a hiccup and a high release point gave Ellis the edge en route to over 1,700 total three-pointers made. His best season came in 1989 when he converted 162 threes at just under a 48 percent clip – an impressive season from an efficiency/volume perspective by any era’s standards.
8. Steve Nash
A premium card member of the 50-40-90 club, Nash is one of the best all-around shooters we’ve ever seen. As good from the free-throw line as he was behind the arc, Nash was a great scorer that didn’t get as much credit as he deserved because of how great of a playmaker he was. Consistently among the league’s best in three-point shooting percentage, the future Hall of Famer made a career out of his excellent vision and exceptional ability to shoot the basketball.
7. Kyle Korver
With each passing year, somehow, some way, Korver continued to get better. Seemingly ageless, Korver torched teams from the outside for more than a decade as a relentless floor spacer. His true breakout season was in 2015, when he hit 221 threes at a remarkable 49 percent clip – a level of proficiency we may never see again. Sitting fifth all-time in made threes, Perhaps Korver’s greatest proof of his efficiency can be found in the fact that he has the 5th most made three-pointers all-time, but sits 11th in attempts.
6. Peja Stojaković
Central Europe really has made some of the greatest shooters we’ve ever seen, but none better than the 6-foot-9 Croatian, Peja Stojaković. Stojaković’s sharpshooting skills were evident from his early years in Sacramento. He was an excellent foul shooter, automatic from inside the line, and an absolute sniper from beyond the arc. Teams changed the way they looked at wing players after Stojaković’s success with the Kings. Had he been born a few years later, his game would have translated perfectly to today’s style of play.
5. Dražen Petrović
A career cut short due to an unfortunate car crash, Petrović could have been the owner of every NBA three-point record. A European basketball sensation, Petrović blazed the trail for international players by joining the NBA. He was able to showcase his skills to the league and to the world in his two impressive seasons with the Nets. The Croatian was able to catch the eye of all-time great Reggie Miller, who has stated on numerous occasions that Petrović was the best shooter he’s ever faced. That sort of high praise from one of the best shooters ever has to count for something.
4. Klay Thompson
The second Splash Brother doesn’t always get the credit he deserves, but when he gets hot from beyond the arc, everybody tunes in. His picture perfect release should be enshrined on its own merits one day, and has helped him to some huge moments – a 60-point performance against the Pacers in 2016 and a 37-point third quarter outburst against the Kings in 2015. He can come off screens or shoot off the bounce, and rarely has to set his feet to make it a good shot. Even after a two-year run plagued by career-threatening injuries, Klay has come back stronger than ever to form the perfect tandem with Steph.
3. Reggie Miller
One of the league’s all-time great clutch shooters, Miller almost always seemed to come through when the game was on the line. Miller’s jump-shot wasn’t exactly what they teach you in the textbooks – his elbow was flared out, he landed differently every time, and his release almost looked like he let it go with both hands. However, there’s no arguing the fact that it worked just fine for him. Sitting at No. 4 all-time for three-pointers made, Miller made a career for himself hitting big time shots from the outside.
2. Ray Allen
Allen truly did it all on the court, from defending top perimeter players to finishing around the basket in traffic. But no matter how impressive of an all-around player Allen was, the most significant trait he will always be remembered for was his beautiful jump shot. If you search “Ray Allen” on any platform, the first page of results will be littered with clutch threes he made throughout his career. His biggest moment was undoubtedly the three he made that sent Game 6 of the 2014 NBA Finals into overtime, and is truly the microcosm of his phenomenal career.
1. Stephen Curry
Steph has eliminated any and all arguments. He is the greatest shooter the game has ever seen, and it’s not particularly close. For comparisons sake, Reggie Miller never averaged three three-pointers per game over an entire season. Steph has averaged four or more three pointers in eight of his last nine seasons. Strictly combining the 2015 and 2016 seasons, Curry made 688 threes combined, which is more than Bird made in his entire 13-year career (649). You can say what you want about the era he plays in, or the team around him, but you can’t argue his brilliance. We’ve never seen anything like Curry, and we may never again. Just appreciate it.