Chances are, as basketball fans, all of us recognize the value of three-point shooting in today’s NBA. It is now seen as the most efficient shot in the sport. Every team values players who are able to shoot the three efficiently. With that, we now ask, who exactly is the best three-point shooter for each franchise?
We decided to take a look at each team and all of their players’ three-point percentages. In doing so, we address the following questions:
- Which players had the highest three-point percentage for their respective teams last season (2019-20)?
- Were they really their respective teams’ best shooters?
- Is this particular statistic reliable in finding out each team’s best shooter?
There was no limit put in terms of three-point attempts per game, or total attempts for the season. We will, however, not be including two-way players and 10-day contract NBA talents in this list. This rule prevents relatively unknown players getting into the list after making their only three-point attempt in two appearances for their respective teams before getting sent back down to the G-League. Each player must also have appeared at least 1o times for their team.
With that, let’s take a look at every team’s best three-point shooter based on three-point percentage. Your team’s entry may or may not surprise you.
Atlanta Hawks: John Collins
40.1% from three
When one thinks of the Atlanta Hawks and three-point shooting, chances are it is the image of Trae Young that pops up in their head. Mind you, this might also be the case every time one thinks of the Hawks. This is understandable since he is, of course, the cornerstone piece of the franchise. He is also the player who’s game most resembles that of Steph Curry, arguably the greatest shooter of all-time.
However, it is fellow young gun John Collins who shot the best percentage from three last season, shooting 40.1% with a respectable 3.6 attempts a game. Despite this, many would agree that Young is a better three-point shooter than Collins, due to the former’s volume and range at a respectable 36.1%.
Boston Celtics: Jayson Tatum
40.3% from three
It is a curious case to determine the Celtics’ best sniper. Boston is indeed a team with numerous excellent three-point shooters; Kemba Walker, Jaylen Brown, and Gordon Hayward all shot more than 38% from three last season, and strong cases could be made for each of them. It is, however, Jayson Tatum who led the team in three-point percentage with 40.3% on 7.3 attempts.
The Celts weaponized the perimeter last season, with players such as Daniel Theis, Brad Wanamaker, and Semi Ojeleye also able to stretch the floor effectively. JT, however, does take the cake.
Brooklyn Nets: Joe Harris
42.4% from three
With the highest three-point percentage by far, former 3-Point Contest Champion Joe Harris takes the cake for the Brooklyn Nets in terms of three-point percentage. There is no doubt that he is the Nets’ (and one of the league’s) best catch-and-shoot players. Another good shout from Brooklyn would be Kyrie Irving, a former 3-Point Contest Champion himself. Irving shot just below 40% from three last season on a higher 7.1 attempts to Harris’ 5.9.
Irving’s case, however, gets hampered by the fact that he’s only played 20 games for Brooklyn last season. That simply would not be enough game time to be considered a team’s best shooter for a season; Harris gets the nod for this one.
Charlotte Hornets: Terry Rozier
40.7% from three
“Scary” Terry Rozier repaid his lucrative contract last season with a team-high 40.7% on 6.7 attempts from three. Charlotte actually has a number of players who can shoot the pill at around the same level as Rozier. Guys like sophomore player Devonte’ Graham and rookie stretch big P.J. Washington made their name last season with impressive shooting from three-point land.
One can really go either way with the aforementioned players as to Charlotte’s best sniper, with Graham and Washington both shooting more than 37% from beyond the arc. Graham may slightly edge both, with him shooting a team-high 9.3 attempts at an efficient rate, and Washington only shooting 4 a game.
Chicago Bulls: Ryan Arcidiacono
39.1% from three
Similarly, one would be hard-pressed to put Arcidiacono over Zach LaVine as the Bulls’ best three-point shooter. LaVine’s 38% from 8.1 attempts per game is better than what Arcidiacono’s 39.1% on 2.4. Clearly, LaVine is the Bulls’ best three-point shooter, as well as their best overall player. Some might even have players like Otto Porter Jr. and even a rookie Coby White over Arcidiacono in this category.
Cleveland Cavaliers: Tristan Thompson
39.3% from three
Here’s an even unlikelier name to pop up in a list of shooters. 6’9” center Tristan Thompson shot the highest three-point percentage for the entire Cleveland Cavaliers last season. This stat is obviously skewed, as Thompson only shot a total of 23 three-point attempts this past year; he has shot a grand total of 32 for his career so far.
It is needless to say that Cleveland fosters much better shooters in Kevin Love, Cedi Osman, and Colin Sexton, who all shot around 38% from three.
Dallas Mavericks: Seth Curry
45.2% from three
The Dallas Mavericks just recorded the best offensive rating in NBA history last season with 116.1. Their historic offense is predicated around efficient three-point shooting, with nine players shooting more than 37% from three; 3 of these players shot more than 43%. That’s almost every role player in the Mavs rotation being able to stretch the floor remarkably well.
This is scary for the NBA, considering how their best players Luka Dončić and Kristaps Porziņģis only shot about 32% and 35% respectively. The pick of the bunch is combo guard Seth Curry, who shot a ridiculous 45.2% from three on 5 attempts a game.
Denver Nuggets: Paul Millsap
43.5% from three
Impressively, it is veteran forward Paul Millsap who shot the best in Denver. Not being known for his outside shooting, Millsap shot almost 44% on (an admittedly small) 2.4 attempts a game. Rising sophomore star Michael Porter Jr. just trails the former All-Star, shooting 42.2% on 2.7 attempts a game.
Interestingly, no one on Denver actually shot more than five threes a game aside from Jamal Murray (34.6%). One can go different ways as to who the best shooter is, with Jerami Grant, Monte Morris, and Malik Beasley also worthy candidates on relatively similar volumes.
Detroit Pistons: Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk
40.4% from three
Rookie swingman Svi Mykhailiuk beats out veteran Tony Snell by a difference of only 0.2 in three-point percentage. The young, reliable shooter also narrowly beats out fellow young guns Luke Kennard (39.9%) and Christian Wood (38.6%). He does this from a pretty good 5.1 attempts per game, thus justifying his case to indeed be the Pistons’ best three-point shooter full stop.
Golden State Warriors: Glenn Robinson III
40.0% from three
Even after getting traded to the Sixers mid season, Glenn Robinson’s 40% from three was not bested by anyone else on Golden State. Guards D’Angelo Russell and Alec Burks come close, with both shooting around 37%. Russell would be the team’s best shooter, considering his sizable volume (9.7 attempts a game) at that efficiency.
However, Russell and Burks also got traded mid-season, which may have something to do with the Warriors being the second-worst three-point shooting team in the NBA.
Houston Rockets: Ben McLemore
40.0% from three
Houston is filled with three-point shooters, being the team that most exemplifies efficient basketball. The team is led by a revitalized Ben McLemore in three point percentage, with him shooting 40% on 6.4 attempts. There is, of course, the obvious case of James Harden as the Rockets’ actual best shooter; the Beard shot a pretty efficient 35.5% from three on an astounding 12.4 attempts.
Curiously, the Rockets are only 23rd in three-point percentage. We know that this percentage is offset by their sheer volume of 3-point attempts, but one must ask the question as to whether this inefficiency runs parallel with the efficient basketball that they’re trying to play.
Indiana Pacers: Doug McDermott
43.5% from three
This is a pretty accurate representation of the Pacers’ on-court play. Doug McDermott was truly the Pacers’ best three-point shooter this past season. The former college standout led Indiana in three-point percentage with 43% shooting on 4.3 attempts. Bubble MVP candidate T.J. Warren takes second place with 40.3% shooting on 3.4 attempts, with his numbers certainly elevated by his dominant stretch in Orlando.
Los Angeles Clippers: Mfiondu Kabengele
45.0% from three
The Clippers boast one of the deepest rosters in the NBA, with most of their rotation players being able to shoot the basketball well. These include the likes of Landry Shamet, Mo Harkless, JaMychal Green, and the much-maligned Patrick Beverley, all shooting above 37%. Their number one option, Kawhi Leonard, also shot at around this percentage; second-fiddle Paul George shot a better 41.2%.
None of them, however, shot the ball at a higher percentage than rookie forward Mifondu Kabengele at 45%, albeit from a measly 1.7 three-point attempts a game.
Los Angeles Lakers: Dwight Howard
60.0% from three
The 2019-20 NBA Champions have a roster chock-full of catch-and-shoot players to space the floor for LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Somehow, though, it’s not surprising that Dwight Howard ended up with the highest three-point percentage in the whole team.
We’ve seen him taking and making unlikely threes from time to time all throughout his career. This past season, he took five of these and made three. Most will agree, though, that he is certainly not the Lakers’ outright best three-point shooter. That title could be given to someone like Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, who shot almost 39% on 3.5 attempts a game. Danny Green would be a good shout as well, with the now-3x Champion shooting a 36.7% clip on about 5 attempts a game.
Memphis Grizzlies: Anthony Tolliver
41.5% from three
Veteran Anthony Tolliver takes this spot for the relatively young Memphis team. The 34 year-old forward shot almost 42% on 3.2 three-ball attempts a game. However, Jaren Jackson Jr. might be most people’s pick as the Grizzlies’ best shooter last season. The young, versatile big shot the pill at a 39.4% clip on a team-high 6.5 attempts.
Miami Heat: Duncan Robinson
44.6% from three
Second-year player Duncan Robinson inexplicably made waves last season with the Miami Heat. Robinson emerged as one of the best catch-and-shoot players in the league on the way to helping his team to an unlikely NBA Finals run. On the way, he shot a very efficient 44.6 percent on more than eight attempts.
Miami looks absolutely dangerous on the perimeter with him being flanked by other dangerous shooters Tyler Herro, Jae Crowder, and Kendrick Nunn, among others.
Milwaukee Bucks: George Hill
46.0% from three
Here, we have statistically the best shooter in the NBA last season (out of every player who played meaningful minutes), George Hill. The veteran guard shot the three ball three times a game, making 46% of his attempts. It would not be a long shot to say that he is indeed the Bucks’ best shooter. Cases could be made for All-Star Khris Middleton at 41.5% on almost 5 attempts a game, or 17-year vet Kyle Korver at 41.8 on more than 4 attempts.
Minnesota Timberwolves: Malik Beasley
42.6% from three
Former Denver Nugget Malik Beasley was indeed one of the best three-point shooters for the Timberwolves last season, and the statistics back it up. He looked very impressive in his 14 games in Minnesota, shooting a team-best 42.6% on 8.2 attempts a game. Those numbers actually better those of Karl-Anthony Towns, who shot the three ball 7.9 times a game on a 41.2% clip.
However, even though he was injured for the majority of the past season, KAT would still probably edge Beasley in three-point proficiency. The latter’s numbers have a significantly smaller sample size. To add, Town’s injury interrupted what would have been the greatest three-point shooting season in history for a center.
New Orleans Pelicans: J.J. Redick
45.3% for three
The veteran sharpshooter had his usual efficient season from three, shooting an almost league-best 45.3% from three.
New York Knicks: Marcus Morris
43.9% from three
This Morris brother impressively brought his hot shooting from Boston to New York; shooting almost 44% at 6.1 attempts from three. The Knicks’ leading scorer last year was undoubtedly also their best three-point shooter. That is, of course, until he left for Los Angeles after 43 games.
No one on the Knicks roster even came close to Morris in terms of three-point shooting; second would be Damyean Dotson at 36.2% from 3.2 attempts a game.
Oklahoma City Thunder: Danilo Gallinari
40.5% from three
Veteran stretch big Danilo Gallinari exhibited his usual excellent three-point shooting last season with 40.5% from three on a heavy 7.1 attempts a game. Fellow European Dennis Schroder came second with 38.5% on five attempts. Nothing surprising for the Thunder here; the statistic does effectively reflect what happens on the court.
Gallinari’s unwavering consistency was instrumental to the Thunder’s unexpectedly great regular season run.
Orlando Magic: Melvin Frazier
50.0% from three
Benchwarmer Melvin Frazier pipped international sharpshooter Evan Fournier in three-point percentage for the Magic last season. The Frenchman might feel a bit hard done by, being the outright best shooter of the Magic.
Fournier was excellent from three, shooting almost 40% on 6.6 attempts; the high-flying Terrence Ross with 35.1% on 7.1 attempts would be a good shout for second place. Melvin Frazier, however, made eight out of his 16 total attempts from three this season, which means he gets the nod for this list.
Philadelphia 76ers: Shake Milton
43.0% from three
The Sixers’ spacing problems were evident all-throughout the regular season, as well as in the Orlando bubble. Nevertheless, they do possess viable three-point shooters; max-contract player Tobias Harris (36.7% on 5 attempts a game) might come to mind, although cases can be made for role players Alec Burks and Furkan Korkmaz (both shot more than 40%).
It is another quality role player, Shake Milton, who tops them all with 43% on 3.4 attempts at the back of several huge games last season.
Phoenix Suns: Jevon Carter
42.5% from three
Back-up guard Jevon Carter shot the three-ball quite well for the Suns last year, with a significant sample size. He shot nearly 43% on 2.1 attempts a game, pretty good shooting for a bench player. As for Phoenix’s actual best shooter last season, Devin Booker on an improved 35.4% shooting would be most people’s candidates, with rookie Cameron Johnson (39.0%) being a good shout himself.
Special mention goes to the man formerly known as “the tank commander” Cameron Payne, who shot more than 51% from three in 8eight games for the Suns, two games short of the requirement.
Portland Trail Blazers: Hassan Whiteside
57.1% from three
Damian Lillard was perhaps the best three-point shooter in the league last season. He shot more than 10 treys a game while making 40.1% of them; that is incredible efficiency for that volume, and more so considering his range. He is the Blazers’ undisputed best shooter.
However, Hassan Whiteside takes this spot courtesy of another Dwight Howard situation; he made four out of a total seven threes last season.
Sacramento Kings: Alex Len
66.7% from three
SacTown, particularly in the 2018-19 season, thrived in a fast-paced style of play with the speedy D’Aaron Fox flanked by wing shooters. The picks of the bunch would be the current 3-Point Contest Champion Buddy Hield and stretch big Nemanja Bjelica (both on about 40%).
However, it is bench big man Alex Len who had the best percentage for the Kings last season. The former 5th overall pick made two out of three total threes last season in 15 appearances.
San Antonio Spurs: Lonnie Walker IV
40.6% from three
Young prospect Lonnie Walker IV takes the Spurs’ spot with a pretty good 40.6% from three last season. He, however, only shot 1.7 threes a game; hardly the optimal volume to be an NBA teams best shooter. A much better candidate for this would be the veteran point guard Patty Mills; the Australian shot 38.3% on more than 6 attempts a game.
Toronto Raptors: Matt Thomas
47.5% from three
Matt Thomas has a small sample size when it comes to three-point attempts last season, with only 2.4 threes a game. It is, however, still clear that he is a very reliable shooter. Considering volume, Norman Powell was certainly the Raps’ best shooter last season; he shot almost 40% from three on more than five attempts.
Generally, the Raptors shot the three particularly well last season; they ranked top five in three-point percentage, with nine rotation players shooting more than 35% from three.
Utah Jazz: Tony Bradley
100% from three
Yes, backup center Tony Bradley takes this spot for the Jazz, thanks to his total of three makes from three attempts from beyond the arc. However, don’t let that distract you from the fact that the Jazz were the best three-point shooting team based on three-point percentage last season.
Sharpshooter Bojan Bogdanovic in particular was scorching from deep last year, converting 41.4% on 4.3 threes a game. It would be difficult to deny the Croatian the title of Utah’s best shooter last season.
Washington Wizards: Davis Bertans
42.4% from three
The aptly-named Latvian Laser gets the nod onn this list as the Wizards’ best statistical shooter last season. This one’s very accurate, as Bertans has indeed been one of the league’s most lethal sharpshooters for the better part of two years now. His volume of 8.7 attempts per game makes his efficiency all the more impressive.
Every NBA Team’s Best Shooter Closing Statement
Clearly, more factors come into play when determining a team’s best shooter. The statistic emphasized on this list would simply not suffice. Inversely, it then becomes more curious as to just how many entries on this list were indeed their team’s best sniper, even while considering other factors.
From this, we can say that it is more of an objective task to find out each team’s best shooter, with the numerable factors to consider. Which factor would one consider more valuable? Is volume more important than differences in efficiency, or vise versa? Would it be any of the other unquantifiable factors, data or information?
Basically, the simplest counting-stat of base percentage on threes made isn’t good enough to determine who is truly the best shooter for an NBA team.