The Top 25 Shooters in The NBA Today

25. Nikola Mirotic — New Orleans Pelicans

Some may consider Mirotic a one-dimensional player. While that’s not entirely the case, Mirtoic’s ability to shoot the ball is truly his shining skill. A quintessential stretch-4, Mirotic has developed into one of the deadlier marksman at his position. His 6’10” frame poses a tricky match-up for bigger defenders, and allows his teammates more open space. When Mirotic gets hot, look out.

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24. Buddy Hield — Sacramento Kings

While he hasn’t developed into the Curry-like bomber Vivek Ranadivé envisioned he would be, Hield has shown flashes of what made him a star at the collegiate level. The third-year guard has been an improved shooter since joining the Sacramento Kings in the deal that shipped DeMarcus Cousins to New Orleans. 2018 was mostly an up-and-down year for the former sixth-overall pick, but once Hield found his groove he was one of the best shooters in all of basketball. Following an abysmal October to being the year, Hield shot a scorching 50.8 percent (on 5.5 attempts) from beyond the arc during a 25-game stretch to end the calendar year.

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23. Lou Williams — Los Angeles Clippers

It’s baffling that Williams has been on six different teams in the last seven years. The weirdest part about Williams bouncing from team-to-team is that he didn’t hit his prime until after he left Philadelphia (the team that originally drafted him and he spent seven years with). Since leaving the 76ers, Williams has really come into his own. He’s one of the league’s top reserves, having won the Sixth Man of the Year award twice. His ability to generate fouls at a high rate his Williams’ single greatest skill, but opponents wouldn’t be so quick to hack at Williams if they didn’t fear the threat of his jumpshot. On a high-volume of attempts (6.0 per game) Williams has made 36.2 percent of his threes over the last two years, including seven four-point plays.

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22. Jayson Tatum — Boston Celtics

The only second-year player to make the list, Tatum exceeded all expectations for his jumpshot during his rookie campaign. The 19-year-old led the league in three-point percentage for most of the year, and ended the season with 1.3 threes made per game. He was especially dangerous from the corner, where Tatum converted 56.4 percent of his three-point attempts. Tatum isn’t afraid of the big moment (evidenced by his performance in the 2018 NBA Playoffs), and his silky jumpshot will aid him throughout his career.

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21. Kawhi Leonard — Toronto Raptors

This is a bit of a projection, as we aren’t truly certain of what version of Leonard we will see in 2018. Injuries can greatly impact your physical ability and psyche (just ask Markelle Fultz), making it impossible to project how Leonard’s body and mind will react to missing an extended period of time. However, based upon the information we have available, it would be wrong to leave Leonard off this list. During Kawhi’s last two full seasons (the only two years he made the All-Star team), he converted on 40.7 percent of his threes — including a 48.5 percent mark on corner triples. The Spurs’ coaching staff did wonders in developing Leonard’s jumper over his career in San Antonio. It will be interesting to see if he reignite his steady shooting levels in Toronto.

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20. JR Smith — Cleveland Cavaliers

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. In four seasons as a Cavalier, Smith sports a 40.4-percent postseason three-point mark. His most memorable moment as a Cav 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.

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19. LeBron James — Los Angeles Lakers

James isn’t the first player that comes to mind when you think of an NBA jumpshooter. His three-point efficiency has been up-and-down, although it’s stabilized a bit more since his stint in Miami. A season in which he shot 40.6 percent from beyond the arc with the Heat remains an outlier for a career 34.4 percent shooter. He saw a bounce back in his free-throw percentage in 2018, but a 73.1 percent mark is hardly inspiring. However, when James gets going, he becomes virtually unstoppable from anywhere on the floor. Case in point, his otherworldly performance against the Toronto Raptors in last year’s playoffs. James hit about ten 20-foot fadeaways with Raptors defenders draped all over him, and Toronto couldn’t do anything about it.

Just think about this: How many times have seen LeBron dribble down to the left wing, stare straight at his defender, rise up from 30-plus feet, and bury a cold-blooded triple in crunch time?

While he’s not a traditionally outstanding catch-and-shoot player, James can become a marksman when he senses his team needs a boost.

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18. James Harden — Houston Rockets

Harden is already nearly impossible to defend, but once he starts knocking down triples, forget about it. The reigning MVP routinely dances around defenders at the top of the key, unleashing a lethal step-back move to create space from defenders that try to force Harden to his right. He has the dexteriety to get his feet set in an instant, and launch deep jumpers before defenders can even recover from the ball handling wizardry. Last season, Harden broke the scale by converting on 13 four-point plays. Since 1997, no player has ever converted on more than nine four-point plays (Jamal Crawford did it in ’09 and ’10).

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17. Wayne Ellington — Miami Heat

After teetering on the unemployment line just a few years ago, Ellington has rejuvinated his career as a catch-and-shoot specialist for the Miami Heat. The former North Carolina Tar Heel is coming off of his best season as a pro. Ellington knocked down 39.2 percent of his three-point attempts in 2018, on a career high amount of attempts (7.5 per game). He’s a key cog in allowing coach Erik Spoelstra to run his preferred style of offense. Miami’s constant motion and ball movement play to Ellington’s strengths as a player. Ellington is constantly in motion, and always has his body ready to fire up a good look.

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16. Otto Porter Jr. — Washington Wizards

During the second-half of the 2018 season, it felt like Porter couldn’t miss. In fact, the Washington Wizards swing man was first in three-point percentage among players that took at least 100 triples after All-Star break (52 percent). Overall, Porter is a well-rounded player that takes care of the ball, plays his role, and defends well, but his ability to stroke triples from deep has enabled Porter to live up to being a former No. 3 overall pick. The Wizards will take 6’8″ Swiss-army knife that has made 40.4 percent of his career three-point attempts any day of the week.

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15. Joe Ingles — Utah Jazz

Ingles burst onto the scene after playing a key role in Utah’s upset over the Oklahoma City Thunder in the first round of last year’s postseason. The Aussie got under star Thunder wing Paul George’s skin thanks to his defensive acumen and shooting ability. Ingles has posted a 44 percent three-point conversion mark in each of the last two seasons, and has become a bigger part in Utah’s offense with each passing year as a result. The sharpshooting lefty made the third most corner threes last season (74), and converted at a high-rate (52.6 percent)

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14. Damian Lillard — Portland Trail Blazers

Lillard might not have the effeciency of some of his peers, but when you factor in the degree of difficulty of his attempts, it’s not a surprise to see Portland’s star on this list. The unflappable Lillard is within range as soon as he steps on the floor. He only needs an inch of daylight to get his shot off, and he doesn’t lose much in the way of accuracy when firing shots off the dribble. In a sense, he’s a lite version of Steph Curry, able to haunt defenses with a tight handle and deep range. He’s already crack the top-50 for all-time three-point makes, and could find himself in the top-10 by the end of his career.

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13. Kemba Walker — Charlotte Hornets

Walker’s shooting ability is one of the great success stories in the NBA. In his rookie year, Walker was a putrid three-point shooter. The lottery pick converted on a measly 30.5 percent of his makes in a hearty 3.4 attempts per game. The following three years were up-and-down for Walker’s percentages, but he really hit his stride over the past three seasons. Since 2016, Walker has made the fifth most threes in the entire NBA (653), and has had better efficiency (38.6) than Chris Paul, Dirk Nowitzki, and Kyrie Irving.

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12. Eric Gordon — Los Angeles Clippers

Mike D’Antoni and the Houston Rockets have effectively revitalized Gordon’s career, shaping him into an expert marksman and one of the league’s best substitutes. D’Antoni has enabled Gordon to fire up shots against any defense, and the 6’4 guard has obliged by making 3.2 threes per game on a 36.6 percent clip during his two years in Houston. Gordon possesses range that extends well beyond the three-point line, allowing teammates Chris Paul and James Harden ample driving space.

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11. Kyle Lowry — Toronto Raptors

Lowry uses the threat of his three-point jumper as well as anybody in the league. The Toronto point guard is highly effective at knocking down triples in semi-transition, and feels comfortable launching above the break threes in semi-transition. Teams are force to check Lowry from further away from the hoop, opening up his slashing game and his teammates for easy passing lanes. He serves as the perfect face for Toronto’s newly found commitment to ball-movement and spreading the floor with shooters.

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10. Paul George — Oklahoma City Thunder

As talented as any wing in the league, George is a well-rounded player that possesses a lethal jump shot. The former Pacer has exceptional range, able to convert baskets from anywhere inside the half court line.

Even in an off-year offensively for George in 2018, the five-time All-Star still made a career-high of 244 three-pointers at an impressive 40.1 percent clip. With another year under his belt as Westbrook’s second-fiddle, George looks to be explosive in 2019.

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9. Chris Paul — Houston Rockets

Often times it feels like Paul could lead the league in three-point percentage if he truly desired to. The future Hall of Famer has an absolutely automatic in-between game, and has also been a steady shooter that has made 1.3 triples per game and 37 percent of his attempts over his career. He forfeits a bit of scoring in favor of setting up his teammates, but Paul’s marksmanship shouldn’t be overlooked.

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8. Bradley Beal — Washington Wizards

The ‘yin’ to John Wall’s ‘yang’, Beal’s picturesque jumper and deep range make him one of the toughest match-ups in the league. Beal is a machine moving without the ball, expertly weaving his way through screens and flinging 25-footers as soon as he receives a laser courtesy of Wall. Beal’s efficiency dipped in 2018 — primarily attributable to Wall’s extended absence due to injury — but the year prior he was one of the more efficient shooters in all of basketball. In 2017, Beal was one of just six players to shoot better than 40 percent from three on at least seven attempts per game.

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7. Kyrie Irving — Boston Celtics

Irving’s spot on this list was cemented in Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals when he made the eventual game-winning three-point jumper over Stephen Curry. It reminded fans that Irving is more than just a flashy ball handler, he’s a knockdown shooter as well. The former Three-Point Contest winner has made 38.8 percent of his three point attempts over the course of his career. Taking a few steps inside the arc isn’t a problem for Irving either, as he made 55 percent of his jumpers from between 16-feet and three-point line. His 11 made three-pointers against Portland in 2015 remains the most made in a single game by a Cleveland Cavalier.

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6. JJ Redick — Philadelphia 76ers

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 has quickly evolved into an elite shooter today. 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 has carved out an impressive career for himself.

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5. Kevin Durant — Golden State Warriors

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.

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4. CJ McCollum — Portland Trail Blazers

Although Lillard is the better all-around player, the best shooter on the Trail Blazers is the podcasting-hobbyist, McCollum. The former Lehigh standout has done his former alma mater well as the first NBA player to ever come from that university. After playing as a reserve for the first two years of his career, McCollum broke-out in Year 3, and has been a sniper ever since. Over the last three years, McCollum is shooting 41.2 percent on threes while attempting 5.8 per game. He’s also well-versed at knocking down mid-range shots, a lost art in today’s modern NBA.

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3. Kyle Korver — Cleveland Cavaliers

With each passing year, somehow, some way, Korver continues to get better. Seemingly ageless, Korver has torched teams from the outside for more than a decade and hasn’t shown any signs of slowing down. His trademark is his efficiency, as he currently stands at a career 43 percent clip from behind the line. His breakout 2015 season in which he hit 221 threes at a remarkable 49 percent clip is a level of proficiency we may never see again.

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2. Klay Thompson — Golden State Warriors

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 lightning-quick 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. Thompson has played an enormous part in Golden State’s ascension, and has earned his place among all-time shooting greats.

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1. Stephen Curry

Curry remains in a league of his own. In his historic 2016 season, Curry made just over five threes a game. For comparisons sake, Reggie Miller never averaged three three-pointers per game over an entire season. Curry made 688 threes combined in 2015 and 2016, 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.

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