The NBA is a skill game, and shooting has taken on such added importance over the years. The best shooters are well-known. Names such as Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant strike fear in defenses.
But there is a crop of largely uncelebrated shooters coming into the league. These are the guys you do not think of on a regular basis but somehow the ball finds their hands at the most opportune times.
They get the open looks because defenses are keyed in on their teammates.
To be included, players have to average at least three triples per game and play a legitimate role for their team—not just be a garbage-time player.
Names such as Curry and Fred VanVleet will not make the list; we know they can shoot. Even guys like Buddy Hield were excluded because they came into this league as shooting specialists. Grant Williams had his coming-out party as a shooter in Game 7 against the Bucks, so he's not included either.
Some of the names below will become more well-known if they succeed in their roles and continue knocking down looks. Some of these players are on fire to start the year.
But these shooters should be on your radar, especially if your team will play them anytime soon.
A couple of guys narrowly missed the list because of health and playing time.
The Phoenix Suns' Cameron Johnson stepped into a starting role this season and delivered. He was shooting 43.1 percent from deep before suffering a meniscus injury that could keep him out into January, per ESPN's Brian Windhorst.
Warriors two-way player Anthony Lamb has moved into the rotation and has done nothing but hit shots. He's shooting 44.8 percent from three on 3.6 attempts in 20.3 minutes per game. He would have gotten his own section but has only appeared in eight games this season.
Keep an eye out throughout the season for these shooters; they are fully capable of hitting a dagger.
Trey Murphy III, New Orleans Pelicans
There may not be another second-year player as red-hot as Trey Murphy III has been to start the season. The 17th pick in 2021 is shooting a scorching 42.9 percent from three on 5.3 attempts per game.
It is easy to overlook him—the New Orleans Pelicans are stacked. In addition to big names such as Zion Williamson, Brandon Ingram and CJ McCollum, the Pels' depth is earning rave reviews thanks to Herbert Jones, Jonas Valanciunas and Jose Alvarado. And then there’s Murphy, who against the Dallas Mavericks in late October went a perfect 8-of-8 from the field and 4-of-4 from three.
His evolution into a 40 percent three-point shooter for the season shouldn't be surprising as he shot 38.2 percent as a rookie.