Becoming a great shooter takes a lot of work. Hours in the gym using different drills to master a skill that so few have. Repetition to develop the muscle memory to be able to make even the most difficult shots in the toughest situations.
Even at the highest level of the game, few can shoot a great percentage from all over the floor. Some can finish in the pain, but are an embarrassment at the free-throw line. Others can spot up and knock down the open shot from beyond the arc, but can’t finish in traffic.
In short, only a handful of players have the skill to hit shots from anywhere on the floor to help their teams win games.
This list is the best-of-the-best of those players, the elite shooters in the game today.
Note: All advanced statistics from Basketball-reference.com. Effective field goal percentage is an adjust percentage based on the fact that a 3-point make in worth one more point than a shot inside the arc. True shooting percentage take every shot into account, including shots from the floor and the free-throw line.
H.M. Jose Calderon, New York Knicks
The only reason why Calderon is an honorable mention and not in our top 10 is because he just doesn’t shoot enough (thanks Carmelo). But when he does, there is a good shoot it’s going in.
On the season, he shot 45.9 percent from the field, including 41.4 percent from beyond the arc and 87.5 percent from the free-throw line. Those numbers were good enough to place him 10th in 3-point shooting, 11th in free-throw shooting (if he had enough attempts), and in the top 10 in effective field goal percentage (if he shot enough).
10. Jared Dudley, Washington Wizards
Even though he didn’t shoot the ball a lot, Dudley had a great year shooting the ball from everywhere on the court, but the free-throw line. While he doesn’t create his own shot, he has turned into one of the best catch-and-shoot players in the game.
On the season, he shot 47.8 percent from the floor, including 42 percent from beyond the arc. Those numbers placed him seventh in the league in 3-point shooting, in the top 10 in effective field goal percentage and 13 in true shooting percentage.
9. Chandler Parsons, Dallas Mavericks
Parsons would be much higher on this list if he could shoot it better from the foul line. He is an outstanding 3-point shooter and a great finisher in the paint (71.3 percent from 0-3 feet). He finished eighth in the league in effective field goal percentage, ninth in 3-point percent and 17th in 2-point field goal percentage while shooting 49.2 percent from the field, and 41.6 percent from the distance, but just 68.4 percent from the foul line.
8. Marvin Williams, Charlotte Hornets
Just by looking at his field goal percentage, you wouldn’t think that Williams had a great year shooting the ball. But when you dig a little deeper, you’ll notice that his overall percentage is down because he shot more than 50 percent of his attempts from beyond the arc.
On the season, he shot 45.2 percent from the floor, including 40.2 percent from beyond the arc and 83.3 percent from the foul line. Those numbers were good enough for him to rank 15th in the NBA in 3-point shooting and effective field goal percentage.
7. Evan Fournier, Orlando Magic
Fournier had the best year of his young career, thanks to his overall improvement as a shooter. He became a knockdown 3-point shooter while also shooting better than 50 percent from inside the arc.
On the season, he shot 46.2 percent from the floor, including 40 from beyond the arc and 83.6 percent from the foul line. Those stats placed him in the top 20 in both 3-point shooting and effective field goal percentage.
6. Darren Collison, Sacramento Kings
Collison is often overlooked when talking about the best shooters in the game, but his numbers proof that he deserves to be a big part of the conversation. His transition to the bench in Sacramento was a smooth one shooting wise as he shot new career highs from the field and the 3-point line.
On the season, he shot 48.6 percent from the floor, including 40.1 percent from beyond the arc and 85.8 percent from the foul line. Those numbers landed him in the top 20 in 3-point shooting and true shooting percentage.
5. Klay Thompson, Golden State Warriors
One part of the most lethal shooting backcourt in the game, Thompson can more than hold his own when it comes to shooting. He has great touch from the outside and is one of the best catch-and-shoot players coming off of screens.
For the season, he shot 47 percent from the floor, including 42.5 percent from beyond the arc and 87.3 percent from the foul line. Those numbers were good enough to finish sixth in the league in 3-point shooting, ninth in effective shooting percentage and 16th in true shooting percentage while averaging a career-high 22.1 points a game.
4. Kawhi Leonard, San Antonio Spurs
Leonard’s transition to an elite player coincided with his growth as a shooter. His biggest growth has come from the from beyond the arc and from the free-throw line where he easily set new career-highs.
For the season, he shot 50.6 percent from the floor, 44.3 percent from 3-point land and 87.4 percent from the charity stripe. Those numbers landed him at third in 3-point percentage, eighth in true shooting percentage, and 11th in free-throw percentage.
3. J.J. Redick, Los Angeles Clippers
While he is mostly a can-and-shoot guy, Redick had an outstanding season shooting the rock for the Clippers.
On the year, he shot 48 percent from the floor, 47.5 percent from 3-point land and 88.8 percent from the free-throw line. Those stats placed him as the league-leader in 3-point shooting, third in true shooting percentage, fifth in effective field goal percentage and tied for eighth from the foul line.
2. Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City Thunder
Durant is the best shooting forward in the game today. He can finish from the inside, is a knockdown 3-point shooter and is an dominant mid-range jump-shooter.
On the season, he shot 50.5 percent from the field, 38.8 percent from distance and 89.8 percent from the foul line to finish second in true shooting percentage, third in free-throw shooting and sixth in 2-point field goal percentage .
1. Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors
It can’t come as any surprise that Curry would land at the top of this list. While everyone knows about his remarkable to shoot even the deepest 3-pointers, he is also a great finisher around the basket and a terrific free-throw shooter.
Along the way, he became only one of a handful of players to join the 50/40/90 club, shooting 50.4 percent from the floor, 45.4 percent from beyond the arc and 90.8 percent from the free-throw line. That placed him at the top of the league in true shooting and free-throw percentage while finishing second in 3-point percentage on the way to shattering the league record with 402 3-pointers.