Not all players can hang in the post and ask for the ball. That style of play has evolved into a time where all players, regardless of their position, are asked to be able to shoot the basketball. Some players are more effective from the outside compared to others. What’s great about measuring these players is that the stats divide up the sports on the court into ranges or zones. That allows us to take a better view of the complete shooter.
When looking at each team’s best shooter, there were a couple of measurements that were analyzed. We looked at both zones, the midrange and three-point territory. We also looked at stats that measure field goals that were shot outside of 15 feet. Three particular ranges were measured, which included ranges between 15 to 19 feet, 20 to 24 feet, and 25 to 29 feet. Overall field-goal percentage and three-point field goal percentage were also considered.
With all of the data, these choices were chosen as each team’s best shooter.
Atlanta Hawks - Trae Young
9.4 FGM (46.0 FG%), 3.1 3-PT (38.2 3-PT%)
Last season, Young displayed some serious range. Young ranked eighth with 2.9 field goals made above the break three. His 3.1 made three-point field goals per game, ranked 11th among NBA players. While Young has a talent for driving to the basket, he displayed a strong game outside as well. With Kevin Huerter gone, Young is truly the best shooter on the team and will have plenty of opportunities to hit wide-open shots with the addition of Dejounte Murray.
Boston Celtics - Jayson Tatum
9.3 FGM (45.2 FG%), 3.0 3-PT (35.3 3-PT%)
Right behind Young was Tatum at 14th among the league in made three-point field goals. Among players shooting above the break three, he was ranked 123rd with 2.6 field goals per game. Overall, Tatum is one of the best finishers. He ranked eighth in made field goals last season, also finishing right behind Young. Overall, you have to respect his deep ball despite the percentage, especially after he ranked 12th in made field goals between 25 to 29 feet.
Brooklyn Nets - Kevin Durant
10.5 FGM (51.8 FG%), 2.1 3-PT (38.3 3-PT%)
Had Durant played enough games last season, he would have qualified among the top players in made field goals per game. Durant has a lethal jump shot that makes him extremely hard to guard. Last season, he ranked second in made field goals per game between 15 to 19 feet with 2.1. Among mid-range jumpers, he shot 55.5% and was second in the league with 4.1 mid-range shots per game. Assuming that Durant is back, the lethal combination of Kyrie Irving, another dangerous shooter, and Durant will be tough to stop.
Charlotte Hornets - LaMelo Ball
7.2 FGM (42.9 FG%), 2.9 3-PT (38.9 3-PT%)
The Hornets don’t have any true standout shooters. Among the rangers and zones we analyzed, none of the Hornets rank in the upper tiers. The Hornets do have two players that can put together a solid shooting line. Terry Rozier is one after he averaged 44.4% shooting to go with a 37.4% three-point shooting. This is a true toss-up between both of those players.
Chicago Bulls - DeMar DeRozan
10.2 FGM (50.4 FG%), 0.7 3-PT (35.2 3-PT%)
No disrespect to Zach LaVine, who ranks in the upper tiers in made field goals from 20 to 24 feet and field goals from 25 to 29 feet. The issue is that we can’t go against the midrange king from last season. DeRozan led the league in made field goals but specifically led the league in mid-range jumpers. He led the league with 4.6 midrange field goals, where he also shot 47.0%. Specifically, DeRozan led the league in making field goals between 15 to 19 feet.
Cleveland Cavaliers - Darius Garland
8.0 FGM (46.2 FG%), 2.6 3-PT (38.3 3-PT%)
Among the shooters on the team, Garland and Lauri Markkanen are two players that come to mind. The team is long with Evan Mobley, Jarrett Allen, and Kevin Love. Standing out the most is Garland, who ranks 19th in made field goals above the break three with 2.3 per game. The Cavaliers are purely relying on a 22-year-old as the team’s best shooter, but given his age, this could be a superstar in the making.
Dallas Mavericks - Luka Doncic
9.9 FGM (45.7 FG%), 3.1 3-PT (35.3 3-PT%)
Disregard his three-point shooting percentage for a moment because Doncic was a top three-point shooter. He ranked fifth in made field goals per game while taking 8.8 outside shots per game. Between 25 to 29 feet, Doncic ranked sixth with 2.4 field goals per game. With that said, if the team needed a shot at the end of the game, Doncic has proved that he should be the one to take it.
Denver Nuggets - Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
4.7 FGM (43.5 FG%), 2.1 3-PT (39.0 3-PT%)
Last year, Caldwell-Pope was relatively underrated. He tied his best made three-point field goal average of 2.1 per game, which he also accomplished in 2017-18. He was just one percent away from averaging 40% from deep for a second year. As he joins a group that features long, athletic bigs in Michael Porter Jr., Aaron Gordon, and Nikola Jokic, Caldwell-Pope is going to slide in nicely. He should be a player on our radar as a breakout candidate because he is going to get plenty of open looks. This could be a career season for the 28-year-old.
Detroit Pistons - Alec Burks
3.5 FGM (39.1 FG%), 1.9 3-PT (40.4 3-PT%)
The Pistons are in desperate need of some shooters. The hope is that some of their young talents can grow and develop. With that said, the addition of Burks will make him the team’s best shooter. Last year, Burks ranked 22nd in three-point field goal percentage. He was one of 25 players to shoot over 40% from three-point range.
Golden State Warriors - Stephen Curry
8.4 FGM (43.7 FG%), 4.5 3-PT (38.0 3-PT%)
The Warriors have three incredible shooters in Curry, Klay Thompson, and Jordan Poole. All three are in the upper tiers in many of the shooting categories we analyzed. With that said, the greatest shooter of all time is still playing the game. Curry is the all-time leader in three-point field goals. Last year, he led the league with 4.1 made field goals above the break three. He also led the league with 3.4 made field goals between 25 to 29 feet.
Houston Rockets - Kevin Porter Jr.
5.5 FGM (41.5 FG%), 2.5 3-PT (37.5 3-PT%)
Among the best shooters, Porter is the best that the Rockets have for now. Porter shot respectable from outside range. When it comes to comparing his talents among the upper tier, the Rockets do not have anyone near the top in shooting between 15 to 29 feet. The Rockets will continue their rebuild and hope that the team can see their younger players develop. That includes Porter, who is 22 years old.
Indiana Pacers - Buddy Hield
7.0 FGM (44.7 FG%), 3.2 3-PT (36.2 3-PT%)
Compared to years in the past, Hield had a down year when it came to three-point shooting. He ranked 13th in field goals made above the break three. However, he finished fourth in the league in three-point field goals made with 3.2 per game. Hield is one of two trade chips the Pacers have left as the team enters a rebuilding phase. Plenty of teams should be looking to make a move for him.
Los Angeles Clippers - Luke Kennard
4.1 FGM (44.9 FG%), 2.7 3-PT (44.9 3-PT%)
While it’s understandable that Paul George would be a player that some consideration for this title, this recognition goes to Luke Kennard. Last season, Kennard quietly led the league in three-point shooting percentage. At 44.9%, he was the best outside shooter in the league. That was by no slouch either. Kennard made 2.7 three-point field goals out of 6.0 three-point field goal attempts.
Los Angeles Lakers - LeBron James
11.4 FGM (52.4 FG%), 2.9 3-PT (35.9 3-PT%)
When the Lakers traded away their two best three-point shooters for Russell Westbrook, that led to a conversation about the lack of outside shooting. James was the third-leading three-point shooter from the 2020-21 team. Ultimately, James would become the team’s best outside shooter last season. James was 10th in three-point field goals above the break three. As for overall shooting, James made a career-high 11.4 field goals per game last season. That average is too high if the Lakers want to get back to competing.
Memphis Grizzlies - Desmond Bane
6.7 FGM (46.1 FG%), 3.0 3-PT (43.6 3-PT%)
Bane shelled out during the playoffs. Outside of Seth Curry, you are looking at the second-best shooter in the league between 20 to 24 feet from last year’s playoffs. Bane made 2.3 field goals between that range, which ranked second among playoff players. As for his outside shooting, Bane ranked seventh during the regular season with 3.0 made three-point field goals, while his 43.6% shooting from outside was second best in the league. Overall, this kid came out of nowhere and started to shoot the lights out.
Miami Heat - Tyler Herro
7.6 FGM (44.7 FG%), 2.7 3-PT (39.9 3-PT%)
Last year’s Sixth Man of the Year was consistent and dependable. He was a player you could rely on between 15 to 19 feet. His three-point shooting was solid at nearly 40% but what Herro did was grow his overall shot. Between each three of the ranges from 15 to 29 feet, he ranked near the upper tier in each category. That made him a complete player last season.
Milwaukee Bucks - Khris Middleton
6.8 FGM (44.3 FG%), 2.5 3-PT (37.3 3-PT%)
Middleton was a top-5 player when it came to shooting between 25 to 29 feet in the playoffs. In that range, he finished tied for fourth-best with 2.5 made field goals. Among the top-5 players, which includes Stephen Curry, Fred VanVleet, Nikola Vucevic, and Klay Thompson, Middleton had the most efficient shooting percentage at 45.5% in that range. While he did not rank that high during the regular season, the Bucks can count on Middleton on a nightly basis.
Minnesota Timberwolves - Karl-Anthony Towns
8.7 FGM (52.9 FG%), 2.0 3-PT (41.0 3-PT%)
The Timberwolves have a problem with having two centers on the roster. With that said, one of those centers is one of the best shooting big men in the league. Towns are going to push Dirk Nowitzki for best shooting big man if he keeps up this pace after shooting 41% from three-point range last season. In the playoffs, Towns finished tied with D’Angelo Russell for the most shots made between 20 to 24 feet with the Timberwolves. We could see a breakout year with the addition of Rudy Gobert, which is going to force Towns to take more shots.
New Orleans Pelicans - C.J. McCollum
8.6 FGM (46.0 FG%), 2.9 3-PT (38.8 3-PT%)
His reputation precedes him, but he was continuously a top outside shooting threat last season when he was healthy. McCollum was 14th in the league in made field goals above the break three, while his midrange jumper was also in the upper tier. McCollum finished 10th with 2.1 mid-range jumpers made per game. When we look deeper into the zones, McCollum was 10th in making field goals between 15 to 19 feet, where he made 45.5% of his shots in that range.
New York Knicks - Evan Fournier
5.0 FGM (41.7 FG%), 3.0 3-PT (38.9 3-PT%)
All eyes were on the decline of Julius Randle’s outside shot from last season. That distracted people from seeing how well Evan Fournier was shooting the ball. His 1.7 field goals made per game between 20 to 24 feet was second best in the league. While his overall shooting percentage was not hot, he nearly supplemented that with a 39% shooting mark from three-point range.
Oklahoma City Thunder - Shai Gilgeous-Alexander
8.5 FGM (45.3 FG%), 1.6 3-PT (30.0 3-PT%)
The Thunder does not have a surplus of shooters right now. While the team has some prospects that could shine in the future, the current state of the team has not proven itself yet. Chet Holmgren, Lu Dort, and Josh Giddey all have a huge upside. For now, this nod has to go to the team’s best overall player and that is Gilgeous-Alexander at the moment.
Orlando Magic - Gary Harris
3.9 FGM (43.4 FG%), 1.9 3-PT (38.4 3-PT%)
After a few years of battling injuries, Harris looked pretty good when healthy. Harris is a starter in this league, but maybe he could provide a role similar to what Tyler Herro gives the Heat. Harris can knock down nearly 40% of his three-point shots. If he stays healthy, he will be the team’s best pure shooter once again. With that said, keep an eye out for Franz Wagner’s second season and his development.
Philadelphia 76ers - James Harden
6.3 FGM (41.0 FG%), 2.3 3-PT (33.0 3-PT%)
The 76ers as a whole are fairly deep. Tyrese Maxey is coming off of a season where he averaged 17.5 points, shot 48% from the field, and over 42% from three-point range. P.J. Tucker is one of the best corner three-point shooters, Tobias Harris is a solid scorer, and Joel Embiid is coming off leading the league in scoring. In the end, Harden had a crazy year and his track record speaks for itself. Given him a full season in Philly to prove that he remains the best overall shooter on this team.
Portland Trail Blazers - Damian Lillard
7.7 FGM (40.3 FG%), 3.2 3-PT (32.4 3-PT%)
Lillard had a rough season last year dealing with injuries. Despite the adversity, he managed to average 3.0 and made field goals above the break three. While Anfernee Simons was fifth in the league in making field goals between 25 to 29 feet, Lillard is potentially the king of unlimited range in the league. Lillard was ninth in the league in that range and dealt with injuries. When healthy, Lillard is somebody that you can trust to down a shot.
Phoenix Suns - Devin Booker
9.7 FGM (46.6 FG%), 2.7 3-PT (38.3 3-PT%)
Booker’s three-point shooting has consistently hovered around 40% over the last few years. The development of his mid-range jumper has helped him land a spot on the All-NBA First Team. Last year, Booker was fourth in the league in making field goals between 15 to 19 feet. From midrange, he made 3.2 field goals per game and shot 46.9% in that zone. Every year seems like he could break out for that upper 20s point per game average. With these shooting metrics, he could eventually do that.
Sacramento Kings - Kevin Huerter
4.7 FGM (45.4 FG%), 2.5 3-PT (38.9 3-PT%)
The Kings lack pure shooters. De’Aaron Fox is not an outside shooting threat. Neither is Domantas Sabonis, while Harrison Barnes can be streaky at times. The addition of Kevin Huerter gives the Kings a player that specializes in this type of skill. While Huerter did not rank near the top in any of these ranges or zones, he will enter Sacramento as the team’s best shooter.
San Antonio Spurs - Doug McDermott
4.2 FGM (46.2 FG%), 2.1 3-PT (42.2 3-PT%)
McDermott’s three-point shooting is why he has a large contract in the league. His outside shooting ranked seventh-best in the league. McDermott has a role that is similar to Steve Kerr’s back in the day when he is asked to knock down open three-pointers. Among the 20 to 24 feet and 25 to 29 feet zones, he was not a player that finished in the upper tier. For a team that is rebuilding, McDermott’s three-point shooting is one of the few constants.
Toronto Raptors - Fred VanVleet
6.8 FGM (40.3 FG%), 3.7 3-PT (37.7 3-PT%)
VanVleet is a success story and continues to add reasons why he is likable. VanVleet was given one of the highest contracts for an undrafted player, but he has proven he deserves it after making the All-Star team last year. In the regular season, VanVleet finished third in the league in made field goals between 25 to 29 feet. The two players in front of him? Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson. That is some elite company to be hanging around.
Utah Jazz - Donovan Mitchell
9.2 FGM (44.8 FG%), 3.5 3-PT (35.5 3-PT%)
Right up there with Curry, Thompson, and VanVleet in that zone was Donovan Mitchell, who finished fourth. Mitchell also placed in the upper tier among players in the 20 to 24 feet zone as well. However, his outside shooting presence makes him elite. He finished second in the league among made field goals above the break three, losing out to Stephen Curry. With Rudy Gobert out of the picture, we could see Mitchell pop off for his first season of averaging at least 30 this season.
Washington Wizards - Bradley Beal
8.7 FGM (45.1 FG%), 1.6 3-PT (30.0 3-PT%)
Beal is not typically a 30% shooter from three-point range, so we cannot penalize that against him. We have to understand that he battled injuries and that before last season, he was coming off two straight years of averaging over 30 points per game. When healthy, Beal finished 14th in made field goals from midrange. More specifically, he was 15th in the league in field goals made between 15 to 19 feet. Beal is a career 37% shooter from three-point range. If he is healthy next season, he will continue to be the player the Wizards count on.