The 3-point shot has defined basketball over the past few years. Steph Curry, James Harden, and Damian Lillard are primarily responsible for turning the NBA into a 3-point shooting bonanza. Curry takes the cake since, on the way to becoming the greatest shooter known to man, he snagged three NBA titles and two MVP trophies. Apart from these familiar names, stats reveal that we should pay respect to three active players who have been the most accurate 3-point shooters in the last 20 years.
Brooklyn’s Splash Brothers, Memphis’ lone sniper
Data culled by StatMuse reveals that Brooklyn Nets guards Seth Curry and Joe Harris, as well as Memphis Grizzlies guard Desmond Bane are the only three active players on the top 10 list of the players with the highest 3-point shooting percentage since the 2002-03 season. Seth sits in second place with a 44% shooting clip, while Harris is in third place with 43.9%. They are behind the great Fred Hoiberg who’s at 44.7%. Meanwhile, Bane sits in sixth place with 43.1 %.
The amount of 3-point makes is impressive. But quality almost always takes precedence over quantity, especially if it involves a shot that is theoretically a low-percentage one. So while there is no doubt that Stephen Curry is the greatest shooter of all time, we have to include his brother and Harris when we’re having a conversation about 3-point shooters.
Seth and Harris became teammates when the Nets acquired the former in a trade package headlined by James Harden and Ben Simmons. However, Nets fans have yet to enjoy the fruits of this tandem. Harris has been ruled out for the season after undergoing second ankle surgery.
Bane, for his part, has been a key part of the Grizzlies’ success this season. Pedestrian Grizzlies fans would claim that Ja Morant has been carrying his young squad all season long. But the real ones know that it is a team effort, and Bane’s 3-point shooting and overall toughness have been critical elements as well.
Right outside the top 10
The top 10 list is as interesting as the players right at its cusp. On the list, Steph Curry is ranked 11th. Below him are two active players: Luke Kennard (42.5%) of the LA Clippers and Michael Porter Jr. (41.9%) of the Denver Nuggets. Rounding up the top 15 is Klay Thompson, who’s also shooting at an elite 41.9% clip from deep.
Other active players on the top 25 are Bryn Forbes of the Denver Nuggets, Payton Pritchard of the Boston Celtics, Tyrese Haliburton of the Indiana Pacers, and Doug McDermott of the San Antonio Spurs.
Sans Curry and Thompson, these active players outside the top 10 are relatively young. As such, there’s an argument that they could fall off the list as they play more games and take more shots. But taking it as is it, it’s still quite impressive to see young guns are at the forefront of the NBA’s 3-point shooting era.
It is crazy to imagine that a shot that was once discouraged is now the most valuable in the game. It is a testament that the game, as simple as it looks, continues to evolve in different ways.