Earlier this month, we looked at the three-point legends of the NBA. Now, we thought it’d be fun to look at the other side: the worst three-point shooters in NBA history. This list is based solely on three-point percentages, with a minimum of 1,000 shots taken behind the line. These players have earned their fame in other areas of the game, even if it wasn’t behind the three-point line.
The Not-So-Greats (at three-point shooting, that is)
8. Derrick Coleman, 29.5%
In his prime, Coleman averaged around 20 points and 10-11 rebounds per game, but he was never a threat from long range. Coleman shot a career-low 21.2% in the 1998-99 season and only improved to 29.5% to round out his 15-year career.
7. Dwyane Wade, 29.2%
Dwyane Wade is officially retired and recently capped off a legendary, Hall of Fame-worthy career. He’s rightfully in the conversation for the best shooting guard in the league during his prime, even though he never shot more than 33% from three during his career. His poor long-range performance didn’t stop him from averaging 22 points per game.
6. Isiah Thomas, 29.0%
Thomas was one of the most aggressive two-way guards in NBA history, which could explain his persistence with long-range attempts. On December 23, 1986, Thomas went 1 for 8 from the three, contributing to his career-worst of 19.4% during the ‘86-87 season. However, he averaged over 20 points per game that year and would end his career averaging 19.2 points per game.
5. Ron Harper, 28.9%
The five-time NBA champion tried to make offensive plays when he could, but is rightfully known for his stellar defense rather than his 3-point shooting performance. Harper averaged a little over 13 points per game throughout his career but shot just 15% from the 3-line for the Cavaliers in the 1987-88 season, his second year in the NBA. He peaked nine years later at 36.2%, knocking down at least half of his 3-point attempts in 23 games.
4. Josh Smith, 28.5%
Being one of the best dunkers in the NBA wasn’t enough for Smith. He thought he could round out his game by shooting threes, but that wasn’t in the cards for him. The most alarming statistic of his career came in the 2009-10 season, where he attempted just seven threes the entire season, and missed every single one.
3. DeMar DeRozan, 28.4%
DeRozan is one of the highest-paid players in the NBA. He attacks the basket with the best players in the league, and he has an excellent mid-range game. His attack and mid-range game are strong, but his 3-point game needs improvement. In the 2018-19 season, DeRozan shot 15.6% from behind the arc. As one of the only players on this list still active in the NBA, DeRozan has the potential to increase his percentage and make his way off of this list in the future years.
2. Corey Brewer, 28.2%
Brewer played for eight teams during his 11-year NBA career, thanks in part to his poor 3-point shooting. He has been a double-digit scorer in the past, including a 51 point game (none of which were three’s), but shot a career-worst of 19.4% during his rookie year with the Timberwolves. It’s not all bad news though: in the 2018-19 season, although playing for three different teams throughout, Brewer averaged 31.2% in 984 minutes played throughout 62 games.
1. Charles Barkley, 26.6%
Barkley could be known as the “Shaquille O’Neal of three-point shooting”, but even with that stigma, he’s still regarded as one of the greatest power forwards to step onto the hardwood. Averaging over 22 points per game during his career, he shot over 30% from three only twice in his 15-year career. Barkley is one of the best players in NBA history, but he also holds the dishonor of being among the league’s worst three-point shooters, too.
We know three-point shooting is changing the game, and with Noah Basketball technology present in over 50% of NBA practice facilities, we can only predict that three-point shooting as we know it will continue to improve. While we hope to only produce the greatest three-point shooters, not everyone can be the best. Will any current players join Barkley, Wade, and Thomas on the worst three-point shooting list? Only time and Noahlytics will tell.
- - -