We are currently in the three-point era of basketball, where teams and players want to hoist up as many good-quality threes as possible. The analytics of the game has convinced every NBA team that 3 points are worth more than 2 points and that shooting 40% from three is more effective than shooting 50% from two. Hence, shooters should have the green light whenever they want. Especially with the likes of the Stephen Curry-led Warriors changing the game in recent years, the three-point shot is here to stay.
But when did the three-point era actually start? It is widely believed that the three-point shot has become a massive factor in the NBA game over the last 10 years, specifically since 2013. But looking at the past 10 years in NBA history, who is the best 3-point shooter in the NBA per season? Stephen Curry is regarded as the best 3-point shooter ever, but how many three-pointers has he made over the last decade? Some names on this list might surprise you, but there will be some expected names on there as well. Most of the expected names will appear among the top 10.
Here is the ultimate three-point list of the NBA's top three-point shooters from deep per season since the 2013 season.
10. Wesley Matthews - 1,436 Three-Pointers Made
1,436- 3,841 (3PTM - 3PTA), 37.4 3PT%, 668 Games Played
Wesley Matthews has been a consistent two-way player for most of his career, whether as a starter or coming off the bench. Matthews shot 37.4% from three over the last ten years and did so while making over 1,400 three-point shots from the field. He has also been a consistent player on the court in terms of availability, competing in 668 games with a host of some good teams.
Matthews has a pretty quick release, and that allows him to make shots from the field even when the defense is scrambling to cover him. Wesley is not an All-Star player, but he can start games and do a job even at his age because his jumper is naturally effective. Shooting 37.4% from three is not a bad return.
9. Danny Green - 1,446 Three-Pointers Made
1,446- 3,633 (3PTM - 3PTA), 39.8 3PT%, 725 Games Played
Danny Green can be a game-winning player in terms of making outside shots or he can frustrate fans with his inconsistency. He can be a streaky shooter at times, but there is no doubt he can make his shots when he is wide open. Over the last ten years, the San Antonio Spurs, Toronto Raptors, and Los Angeles Lakers swingman has made over 1,400 three-point shots.
With a percentage of 39.8% from deep, Green is clearly an above-average marksman and has been for most of his career. Green is at his best when coming off screens or spotting up and waiting for a pass before letting fly. At times, Green can also make contested threes, although that is not his best role, and generally finds himself open more often than not.
8. JJ Redick - 1,518 Three-Pointers Made
1,518- 3,623 (3PTM - 3PTA), 41.9 3PT%, 594 Games Played
JJ Redick has to go down in history as being one of the best three-point shooters. He is a master at coming off screens, letting off a quick release, and making shots at a high level. Whether he was playing for the Los Angeles Clippers or Philadelphia 76ers, Redick was a scary player to defend against because the shooting guard was the best feeding off his All-Star teammates including the likes of Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, Joel Embiid, and Jimmy Butler.
His off-ball movement is truly of superstar level, and that is why he always managed to shoot a high percentage of the field. Obviously, Redick was not a great scorer in terms of shot-creation and did not provide much other than making outside shots. But he was elite in his role and made over 1,500 three-pointers over the last ten years as a result.
7. Kemba Walker - 1,594 Three-Pointers Made
1,594- 4,388 (3PTM - 3PTA), 36.3 3PT%, 675 Games Played
Kemba Walker was an elite scorer during his prime with the Charlotte Hornets, as he even made an All-NBA Team during the 2019 season. Walker made an impressive 1,594 three-pointers over the last decade, most of them coming with the Hornets. Of course, his scoring output was based on his shooting ability.
Whether he created off the dribble or was in catch-and-shoot situations, Kemba was effective in scoring the ball from the perimeter. Most of the time, Walker focused on creating his own offense because his lightning-quick dribble moves allowed him to create space and get jumpers off at a high level. No doubt, Kemba was a volume shooter and scorer because he shot 36.3% from three.
6. Kyle Lowry - 1,662 Three-Pointers Made
1,662- 4,413 (3PTM - 3PTA), 37.7 3PT%, 664 Games Played
Kyle Lowry slowly developed into a very solid three-point shooter after starting his career in the NBA. Kyle knew he had to become a consistent shooter to find a starting role, and eventually blossomed into a multiple-time All-Star due to his scoring, shooting, playmaking, and leadership ability. No doubt, Lowry is far more than just a three-point shooter.
Over the last ten years, Lowry shot 37.7% from three in 664 games played and did it by attempting over 4,400 three-pointers. That is quite a volume of shots for a point guard, but Lowry did shoot well enough to make over 1,600 three-pointers. Even in his latter stages, Lowry has been a consistent shooter from three, and that gives him somewhat of a green light from the perimeter.
5. Paul George - 1,721 Three-Pointers Made
1,721- 4,473 (3PTM - 3PTA), 38.5 3PT%, 610 Games Played
A multiple-time All-Star who was even considered a top-10 player in the game in the 2018 season with the Oklahoma City Thunder, Paul George built his offensive game with an elite three-point shot. Considering he also has a solid mid-range game and an ability to attack the rim and finish, shooting over 38% from three is particularly impressive. The swingman attempted a ton of threes over the last 10 years, hoisting up almost 4,500 three-point shots as a player with the Indiana Pacers, Oklahoma City Thunder, and Los Angeles Clippers.
George achieved this through 610 games played and is considered a very solid shooter. PG13 has had to take more contested shots than he would’ve liked, especially since his days with the Indiana Pacers where he was a bail-out option. The 7-time All-Star can make perimeter shots at a high level, which is critical to his play on offense, which also opens up his defensive abilities as well. When George makes shots, his confidence builds and he becomes a more complete player.
4. Klay Thompson - 1,801 Three-Pointers Made
1,801- 4,319 (3PTM - 3PTA), 41.7 3PT%, 581 Games Played
Stephen Curry’s “Splash Brother” in Golden State, Klay Thompson is without a doubt a top-5 shooter ever. He is also ranked 4th among players in terms of total three-pointers made over the last 10 years. Thompson does not get enough credit for being a consistent threat from deep because of his superstar teammate, but nailing 41.7% from three over the past ten years is truly amazing for a player that lives at the three-point line. The All-Star player can also score from other areas of the floor and is a terrific mid-range scorer.
Remember, Klay is the player that holds the record for most threes in the game (14). Thompson also scored 60 points through 3 quarters in only 11 dribbles, an indication of how special of a shooter he is. Klay ranks 18th in threes made, but he will climb up the ranks as soon as he gets back on the court full time and is actually healthy. Last year, Thompson was not at his best and it was obvious to see. It is also worth mentioning that of every player playing right now, Klay is expected to break his own record for most threes in a single game because he tends to heat up in the most magical way.
3. Damian Lillard - 2,143 Three-Pointers Made
2,143- 5,752 (3PTM - 3PTA), 37.3 3PT%, 711 Games Played
Even if he does not shoot the highest percentage from three considering the fact he has attempted over 5,700 three-pointers in ten years, Damian Lillard is still one of the greatest shooters ever because of his unlimited range. Lillard can literally drain contested shots from 35 feet and has no problem taking them in the most crucial situations. How many times have we seen Lillard pull up from deep to win games in Portland’s favor? Remember, Dame was the man to end the Paul George experiment in Oklahoma City and also the Dwight Howard era in Houston.
Armed with a long-range sniper that he can pull out against any opponent, the 32-year-old is already 9th in three-pointers made and has plenty more to accomplish in this game. Nailing over 37% from deep despite averaging 8.1 attempts over his career is truly extraordinary, and he is nowhere finished at 32 years old. Expect the 6-time All-Star to return to the floor and compete at a high level next year, and more three-pointers made should shortly ensue.
2. James Harden - 2,273 Three-Pointers Made
2,273- 6,312 (3PTM - 3PTA), 36.0 3PT%, 722 Games Played
James Harden is not the most efficient shooter in the NBA, but he is without a doubt an all-time great scorer from deep. The Beard can create his own shot from anywhere on the floor and has been known to attract double and triple teams from opposing teams. Most times, he is run off the three-point line and forced into passing the ball to his teammates. But that usually comes to no use, because his dribble moves and step-back three-point jumper has become the staple of his game. Whether fans like it or not, Harden will not stop taking that shot.
Harden has found out that three-pointers, layups, and free-throw shots are the best way to generate a ton of points per possession. The Beard is amazingly 3rd all-time in threes made, an extraordinary number even for a player who takes as many shots as Harden does. Even if he takes a lot of threes that are normally contested and considered “bad shots”, there is no denying The Beard’s talent as an all-time great shooter because of his willingness to build his game around that facet of offense. Over the last ten years, he is shooting a decent percentage of 36.0% and has made over 2,200 shots from deep.
1. Stephen Curry - 2,745 Three-Pointers Made
2,745- 6,447 (3PTM - 3PTA), 42.6 3PT%, 646 Games Played
As expected, the man who holds the record for most threes made is the greatest shooter ever. As things stand, Stephen Curry is 144 threes made ahead of second-place Ray Allen who retired following the 2014 season. Thanks to his deep-range prowess and unlimited range, Steph completely changed the game for the foreseeable future. Steph is averaging 8.8 3PA over his career, an indication that he might have the biggest green light in basketball history. Over the last ten years, Steph is averaging 10.0 3PA and is shooting 42.6% from three which are incredibly efficient numbers. No doubt, Curry is the greatest shooter of all time and has been over the last ten years.
Teams are always scrambling to plan for ways to stop Curry on the court, and are willing to give up layups if it means stopping the point guard from draining threes. We have seen some special shooters in the NBA, including Ray Allen and Reggie Miller, but neither player could create their own shot from three and attract 3 defenders on them at a time. Ranking 1st in 3PM over his career and 12th percentage, Steph will likely remain the best shooter ever for the rest of eternity and the past ten years is a big indication of that.