Here’s how this list is going to work. We aren’t talking about track record, popularity, or history for this list. The list will be strictly speaking towards who the best shooters in the 2020-21 season are thus far in mid-April. Yes, Steph Curry would be number one if their track record were factored in heavily.
There will be three requirements used to qualify for this list:
- Volume. Minimum 100 three-point attempts.
- Efficiency. Must be over 40% from 3, 80% from FT line, and 45% on FGA.
- Consistency. Minimum 30 games played. Sample size matters.
These thresholds will be strictly enforced and will omit some very elite shooters. This is your warning.
Here are the top shooters in the association so far this season, measured as such. Volume is the most important factor on the list above, followed by efficiency on every level.
1) Joe Ingles- Forward, 6’8″ (Utah Jazz)
3PT: 48.7% FT: 86.4% FG: 52.1% TS: 71.4%
Ingles is having an incredible shooting season, boasting an absurd True Shooting Percentage over 71 percent for the number one seed out West. His efficiency combined with the volume (5.5 three-point attempts per game) made him the easy choice for the best shooter in 2021 thus far, and it wasn’t really close. Yes, Steph is a better shooter in general, but this is all about this season.
I mean, look at this heat map. Cmon, man.
His ability to hit both catch-and-shoot threes and pull-up from deep at his size (6’8″) makes him a very tough cover. The crafty lefty is simply having one hell of a season.
2) Stephen Curry- PG, 6’3″ (Golden State Warriors)
3PT: 41.6% FT: 92.4% FG: 48.5% TS: 65.5%
This is where the volume kicks in. Sure, he’s a couple of percentage points under (3PFG) some of the guys on this list that will be ranked below him, but you cannot ignore his video game-like long-distance attempts per game. He is attempting 11.7 threes per game while maintaining elite efficiency across the board. 11.7! Enough said. He currently leads the NBA in 3-pointers made by a wide margin.
He is universally considered the best shooter in NBA history for a reason.
3) Zach LaVine- SG, 6’5″ (Chicago Bulls)
3PT: 41.4% FT: 84.7% FG: 50.6% TS: 63.3
LaVine is having an incredible run this season, as he’s second only behind Stephen Curry for 3-pointers made on this list with the qualifiers added. The volume + efficiency makes him an easy choice to plug into the number 3 slot on this list. Let’s hope the Bulls can make a run at one of the play-in spots so we can see LaVine play in some meaningful basketball games. He’s built for it.
4) Paul George- Wing, 6’8″ (Los Angeles Clippers)
3PT: 43.8% FT: 89.4% FG: 47.7% TS: 61.3%
You gotta give props to the season George is having, especially when you consider his volume + efficiency from deep. Shooting nearly 44% from three-point range on 7.4 attempts per game is ridiculous stuff. The critics were all over George for his playoff performance in the bubble last year, and so far he’s answered the call this year.
5) Khris Middleton- Wing, 6’7″ (Milwaukee Bucks)
3PT: 43.5% FT: 88.6% FG: 48.2% TS: 59.2%
Middleton continues to be a pillar for efficiency in the NBA, as he has been for most of his career. He is basically taken for granted due to his style of play not being the most flashy or mesmerizing, but make no mistake, he’s an elite two-way player in this league.
6) Terry Rozier- Guard, 6’3″ (Charlotte Hornets)
3PT: 40.4% FT: 80.3% FG: 46.3% TS: 59.8%
“Scary Terry” has truly reinvented himself in Charlotte as one of the most efficient scoring guards in the entire league. He is third on this list in 3-pointers made with 165, only behind Steph Curry and Zach LaVine. His TS% of 59.8 percent is a career-high by a wide margin, and it’s the second year he’s shot over 40% from three.
7) Nikola Jokic- Center, 6’11” (Denver Nuggets)
3PT: 41.8% FT: 85.4% FG: 56.5% TS: 64.2%
The Joker is no joke this year. He is scoring from all three levels at an ultra-efficient level and should be the favorite for MVP in my opinion. While not known primarily for being a shooter, he’s been far too efficient to not be included on this list.
8) Norman Powell- Guard, 6’3″ (Portland Blazers)
3PT: 42.9% FT: 85.5% FG: 48.8% TS: 63.4%
The Blazers are going to need Powell to shoot lights out to forget about giving up Gray Trent Jr., who is lighting it up for his new Raptors squad. Still, it’s hard to ignore the entire body of work that Powell has put together this season purely from a statistical perspective. Just look at his numbers above. Bonkers.
9) Marcus Morris Sr.- Forward, 6’8″ (LA Clippers)
3PT: 46.9% FT: 84.2% FG: 46.1% TS: 60.3%
Morris has quietly been one of the most efficient three-point shooters in the league for some time now, and this year he’s on a tear shooting a blistering 46.9% from deep.
t.10) Tyrese Haliburton- Guard, 6’5″ (Sacramento Kings)
3PT: 41.0% FT: 84.4% FG: 47.8% TS: 59.1%
Haliburton’s shooting mechanics concerns were quickly answered, as he started the season blazing from deep. He is attempting over 5.1 threes per game in his rookie campaign and should be a strong candidate to finish in the top 3 for ROY. The Kings got themselves a great value with the 12th pick in the draft.
t.10) Desmond Bane- Guard, 6’5″ (Memphis Grizzlies)
3PT: 45.4% FT: 81.1% FG: 47.5% TS: 60.5%
Another rookie already cracking the top 10 on this list?! Who would’ve thought the best shooter in college basketball would be able to transition this smoothly to the next level? Only all of NBA “Draft Twitter” and the Memphis Grizzlies, I suppose. Those two go hand-in-hand anyway. Bane is going to be a productive role player for a long time in this league, Memphis got themselves a steal in the 2020 NBA Draft.
Disqualified from the list due to shooting thresholds
- *Kyrie Irving- PG, 6’3″ (Brooklyn Nets)
- **Joe Harris- Wing, 6’6″ (Brooklyn Nets)
- *Damian Lillard- PG, 6’3″ (Portland Trail Blazers)
- *Buddy Hield- SG, 6’4″ (Sacramento Kings)
- *Duncan Robinson- Wing, 6’7″ (Miami Heat)
*missed shooting requirement of 40% from 3-point range to qualify for the initial list.
**missed due to FT% not hitting the requirement threshold
- Nikola Vucevic- Center, 6’11” (Chicago Bulls)
- Mikal Bridges- Wing, 6’7″ (Phoenix Suns)
- Luke Kennard- Guard, 6’5″ (LA Clippers)
- Gordon Hayward- Forward, 6’7″ (Charlotte Hornets)
- Mike Conley- PG, 6’3″ (Utah Jazz)
- Jamal Murray- Guard, 6’3″ (Denver Nuggets)
- Tobias Harris- Forward, 6’8″ (Philadelphia 76ers)
- Malcolm Brogdon- Guard, 6’5″ (Indiana Pacers)
S/O to our fallen brother, one of the best to ever shoot it, Klay Thompson. Get well soon.
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