If you watch a modern NBA game nowadays you’ll probably notice two very strong trends in the game. One is the versatility that “big men” bring to the game. Long gone are the days in which the center position was one of physical dominance and nothing more. The other trend is that the modern NBA style of playing revolves around efficient 3-point shooting. Shooting nowadays has taken center stage as the main focus for teams who are looking to upgrade their scoring efficiency.
With NBA Draft lottery odds makers around all having some of the best shooting prospects on their boards in high places, let’s take a look at the best all-around shooters that the 2021 draft has to offer.
Tre Mann, Guard, University of Florida
If a team is looking for a player who can easily be taken as one of the best if not the best elite shot creator in the draft, then Tre Mann is their man, no pun intended. Florida’s Tre Mann has the dribbling and pull-up jumper skills that can allow him to break down defenders with very relative ease. His size and weight makes him a great physical prospect for teams looking for a dominant guard who can still hit the step back, aka the most important shooting style in the NBA with gusto.
Mann’s stats from his last season with Florida back him up as one of the best shooters in the draft. He averaged 40,2% from three-point land and his step back jumper, which is a thing of beauty, landed at least 41% of the time. If a team is looking for a player who can be as smooth as silk down the hardwood and also has the presence to make himself enough room to take shots after shots, Tre is the answer. With Mann, the bigger the difficulty of the shot attempt, the better he ends up looking.
Corey Kispert, Forward, Gonzaga University
If there was ever a player who can bring a superb shooting ability and be NBA ready from the get go then look no further than Corey Kispert from Gonzaga. Just with the fact that he will enter the draft after playing his whole college career in Gonzaga, one of the best basketball programs in all of NCAA, you know that Kispert has a master’s degree in basketball IQ and creating space for teammates based on his shooting skills alone.
His consistency from deep leaves no room for questioning, even after the NCAA moved the 3-point line further back. If any proof is needed, just look at his 3 point shooting percentage since the NCAA made the line move. Corey hit 43.8% from three in his junior season and 44.0% as a senior. Those numbers in the NBA would automatically put him in the level of some of the game’s elite shooters. With a perfect mix of skills, size and accuracy any team looking for a true catch-and-shoot player with an immediate upside would be dumb to pass on Kispert.
Chris Duarte, Guard, Oregon
The Canadian guard Chris Duarte, coming for Oregon is the kind of player that gives you the feels and skillset that one could easily expect from a smaller, more versatile guard. Then when you notice that he is 6-foot-6 and 190 pounds but still brings an electric bounce to his step and a perfect game stopping dribble to pull up from any part of the perimeter, you know there’s true talent there that shouldn’t be wasted.
Duarte shot a very impressive 42.4% from three-point territory last season in the NCAA, which in great part was due to his size and physicality playing down the court and creating spaces against smaller guards. His style to create room for shooting is a perfect mix of skill and street scrappiness, giving him a perfect bubble to launch his shots. His off screen talent is undeniable, something very enticing for any NBA team looking to snag up a great shooting weapon.
Davion Mitchell, Guard, Baylor
It would be a farce to talk about the best shooting prospects in the upcoming draft without talking about the best shooter in the NCAA Champions Baylor team. His 44.7% shooting from the 3-point range was remarkable, making him a threat to opposing teams after the half court line and Baylor’s top scoring weapon. If there was one skill to point out which can put Mitchell over all the others in this list is how good he is shooting on a fast break. Davion’s handles and speed combined with his compact shooting style makes for a perfect weapon when playing fast ball down the court.
In a league where the trend is to get shots in as fast as possible without allowing defenses to set up again, Davion Mitchell is a perfect player for that. While his size might be an issue to get shots in, his ability to hunt for open spaces and create gaps for shooting will help him transition properly and with ease into the pros.