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Sunday, October 1, 2023

Ranking The NBA Players With The Most Career Three-Pointers Made By Tiers

  • There have been 29 NBA players to make at least 1,700 three-pointers in their careers
  • Stephen Curry is the only player in NBA history to make 400 three-pointers in a single season
  • There has been only one NBA player in history to make 3,000 three-pointers in his career

Over the last year and a half, you have seen us rank the greatest three-point shooters in NBA history in a variety of ways. We have used the tier system to determine the greatest shooters from beyond the arc in NBA history based on attempts, total made shots, and shooting percentage. You have seen us rank the players with the most three-pointers in the NBA playoffs and the NBA Finals. Today, we take a different approach.

The tier system below is based on one aspect of three-point shooting and one part only. That is how many threes each player has made in their career. Percentages hold no bearing here and neither does each player’s number of attempts or any per-game statistics that can measure three-point shooting. There have been just 29 players in NBA history to make at least 1,700 three-pointers in their careers and as the modern-day game continues to focus on a perimeter offense, that number will only continue to grow.

These are the NBA players with the most career three-pointers made ranked by tiers.

Tier 6: 1,700-1,799 Three-Pointers Made

Rashard Lewis – 1,787 Three-Pointers Made

Peja Stojakovic – 1,760 Three-Pointers Made

Carmelo Anthony – 1,731 Three-Pointers Made

Dale Ellis – 1,719 Three-Pointers Made

Buddy Hield – 1,705 Three-Pointers Made

There are five players who make up Tier 6 of our list by knocking down between 1,700 and 1,799 three-pointers in their careers. Leading this tier is two-time All-Star and 15-year veteran Rashard Lewis. His best years came in 2008 and 2009 when he was with the Orlando Magic. In 2008, he went nuclear and hit 226 threes on 40.9% shooting. The following season in 2009, Lewis led the NBA with 220 threes made on 39.7% shooting. He would also have three seasons in which he knocked down over 150 threes on top of those two seasons.

Peja Stojakovic is a beloved figure in NBA history and is known as one of the league’s deadliest shooters ever. In 2004 with the Kings, Peja was an All-Star who led the NBA in three-pointers made with 240 on 43.3% shooting. He would have his second 200-plus three-pointers made season in 2008 with the Hornets when he made 231 threes on 44.1% shooting. Peja would also register three other seasons with at least 150 threes and shot 40.1% from downtown for his career.

Carmelo Anthony became a more and more prominent three-point shooter as his career went on. His 1,731 threes rank 27th in NBA history. Anthony would never make 200 three-pointers in a season but had seven seasons in which he made at least 100. His most threes in a season came in 2018 with the Thunder when he made 169 on 35.7% shooting. He had three other seasons in which he made at least 150 threes, all of which came with the Knicks from 2013 through 2017.

Dale Ellis, a former Fadeaway World guest, was the first NBA player in history to reach the 1,000 career three-pointers mark. As he says, he always wishes he was born later due to the volume of shooting that goes on from deep these days. Ellis never led the NBA in threes or made 200 in a season but his consistency shined through. Of his 17 seasons, Ellis made at least 100 threes in nine of them and shot 40.3% from deep for his entire career.

The final member of Tier 6 is an active player who is ready to catapult himself up this list in the upcoming season. Buddy Hield has been one of the best three-point shooters in the NBA since entering the league in 2016-17. Of his seven NBA seasons, Hield has made at least 200 threes five times and all of those seasons have been over 250 threes as well. Hield will most likely leave this tier by the end of the 2023-24 season.

Tier 5: 1,800-1,899 Three-Pointers Made

Eric Gordon – 1,878 Three-Pointers Made

Kevin Durant – 1,863 Three-Pointers Made

Chauncey Billups – 1,830 Three-Pointers Made

Kobe Bryant – 1,827 Three-Pointers Made

Wesley Matthews – 1,821 Three-Pointers Made

Five more players make up Tier 5 of our list with each player making between 1,800 and 1,899 three-pointers in their careers. Leading this tier is Eric Gordon who I am sure is a surprise to many. Gordon has made 1,878 threes in his career yet never led the NBA in threes made in a season. He does have three consecutive seasons with 200 threes made from 2017 through 2019 with the Rockets and eight other seasons with at least 100 threes made shooting 37.1% for his career.

Kevin Durant is one of the most efficient scorers in NBA history which includes his impeccable three-point shooting. While he has never led the NBA in threes made in a season or reached the 200-made threes mark, he has shot 38.5% from three for his career on 4,841 attempts. Durant has recorded three seasons with at least 150 threes made and 10 seasons with at least 100 made in his 16-year career.

Mr. Big Shot Chauncey Billups is certainly a name we expected to see on this list considering all of our favorite memories of him are clutch moments from three. Billups also failed to reach 200 threes made in a season and never led the NBA but once again, this list is about consistency over the course of his career. From three, Billups shot 38.7% from three while reaching 150 made threes four times, and over 100 made threes a total of 11 times in 17 seasons.

Kobe Bryant never met a shot he wasn’t ready to take and him finding himself on this list is a testament to that. Bryant only ever reached 150 made threes twice in his career which came during his 2006 scoring title and 2008 MVP seasons. Bryant was just a 32.9% career three-point shooter but with attempting at least 300 threes in 10 of 20 seasons in the NBA, he was bound to find himself somewhere among this chaos.

Wesley Matthews is not a name synonymous with great three-point shooting yet he squeaks into Tier 5 with 1,821 made threes in 14 seasons of NBA service. With seven more made threes, Matthews is set to move past Bryant for his spot in 23rd on the all-time list. Matthews has never led the NBA in made threes but in 2014 with Portland, he would make over 200 threes in a season for the only time. Matthews has shot 37.6% from three for his career and reached the 40.0% mark just once.

Tier 4 – 1,900-1,999 Three-Pointers Made

Jason Kidd – 1,988 Three-Pointers Made

Dirk Nowitzki – 1,982 Three-Pointers Made

Joe Johnson – 1,978 Three-Pointers Made

J.J Redick – 1,950 Three-Pointers Made

J.R. Smith – 1,930 Three-Pointers Made

Jason Kidd is one of the greatest point guards in NBA history known mostly for his ability to lead, his court vision, and his ability to make the most difficult passes look simple. He was not known for being a great or even good three-point shooter but as his career went on, Kidd would find his outside stroke. Over 17 seasons, Kidd knocked down 1,988 threes on just 34.9% shooting from deep. He had just one season with over 150 threes in his career which came in 2010 with Dallas. He did, however, have 11 seasons in which he eclipsed the 100 made threes mark showing his consistency as a shooter.

Dirk Nowitzki is the greatest big-man shooter of all time. Standing at 7’0’’ tall, Nowitzki broke the mold for power forwards in the NBA with his ability to spread the floor. You may be surprised to learn that the 38.0% three-point shooter only reached 150 made threes once in a season in 2001. Nowitzki would have nine seasons in total with at least 100 made threes and five seasons in which he shot 40.0% from three.

Joe Johnson is up there with the greatest isolation scorers ever, hence the nickname “Iso Joe”. He was as clutch as they come and made the most game-winning shots in NBA history by a player not named Kobe, LeBron, or Michael. As for three-point shooting, Johnson was damn good as well with three seasons of at least 150 made threes and 12 seasons with at least 100 threes made. He shot 27.1% from three for his career and has to be one of the most underrated players of the 2000s and 2010s eras.

J.J. Redick has always been known as one of the better three-point shooters in basketball history dating back to his days with Duke University. If it weren’t for injuries, Redick would be substantially higher on this list. Redick had four different seasons with at least 200 three-pointers made in his career with a career-high of 240 in 2019. Redick shot 41.5% for his career from deep with seven total seasons of at least 150 threes made.

The final member of Tier 4 is the Henny God himself, J.R Smith. Over the course of 16 seasons, Smith made 1,930 three-pointers on 37.3% shooting from deep. In 2016, Smith knocked down a career-high 204 threes in a season on 40.0% shooting. Smith also registered seven other seasons with at least 150 threes made and nine seasons with at least 100.

Tier 3 – 2,000-2,499 Three-Pointers Made

Kyle Korver – 2,450 Three-Pointers Made

Damian Lillard – 2,387 Three-Pointers Made

Vince Carter – 2,290 Three-Pointers Made

Jason Terry – 2,282 Three-Pointers Made

LeBron James – 2,261 Three-Pointers Made

Jamal Crawford – 2,221 Three-Pointers Made

Klay Thompson – 2,213 Three-Pointers Made

Paul Pierce – 2,143 Three-Pointers Made

Kyle Lowry – 2,078 Three-Pointers Made

Paul George – 2,010 Three-Pointers Made

Tier 3 is going to begin our introduction to some of the most elite three-point shooters in NBA history. These 10 players knocked down at least 2,000 threes in their careers but no more than 2,499. The leader of this tier is none other than professional three-point specialist Kyle Korver. The career 42.9% three-point shooter knocked down 2,450 threes in his career with two seasons of over 200 made threes. In 2005, he led the NBA with 226 made threes on 40.5% shooting with the 76ers. There were only three seasons in which he never reached at least 100 threes in a career that spanned 17 years.

Damian Lillard is one of the greatest shooting point guards ever and ranks sixth on the NBA’s all-time made three-pointers list. Lillard has dazzled us with clutch threes, long-distance threes, and shots that leave us in flat-out disbelief. Of his 11 seasons in the NBA, Lillard has made at least 200 threes in eight of them. He has eclipsed 250 threes twice as well and has only been limited to under 100 threes once during an injury-riddled 2022 season. As a career 37.2% three-point shooter, Lillard has cemented himself among some of the greatest to ever play the game.

The ageless wonder Vince Carter played 22 seasons in the NBA and is seventh on the NBA’s all-time three-pointers made list. Carter was never going to be a player that made 200 threes in a season nor did he ever need to be. He did however reach 150 threes in a season four different times and at least 100 threes 12 times. Carter was a career 37.1% shooter from long distance as well making him one of the more efficient players with at least 2,000 threes in NBA history.

Jason Terry may not have made the impact that others did on this tier in his career as a whole but he was a reliable and consistent shooter from deep. In his 19 seasons of NBA play, Terry shot 38.0% from three for his career and reached the 40.0% shooting mark four times. Terry knocked down at least 150 threes in a season five times and at least 100 threes 15 times.

One way that LeBron James catapulted himself to being the NBA’s all-time leading scorer is his shooting from three. While his 34.5% career shooting percentage from three isn’t ideal, he has remained persistent and consistent throughout his career. James has been in the NBA for 20 seasons leading to one of the greatest careers in the sport’s history. He only made over 150 threes once in his career which came in 2022 with the Lakers. He would make 149 in 2018 with Cleveland as well as 148 in 2020 with the Lakers.

Elite handles and being one of the best bench players in NBA history are two ways I would describe the career of Jamal Crawford, neither of which has to do with his ability to shoot the ball. Still, Jamal Crawford ranks 10th in NBA history with 2,221 made threes in his career. Crawford’s 20 seasons in the NBA certainly helped his total numbers but so did his five seasons with at least 150 threes and 14 seasons with at least 100 made threes. Although he shot 34.5% from three for his career, Crawford is still recognized for his longevity.

Many would argue that Klay Thompson is the second-greatest three-point shooter in NBA history right after his teammate and fellow splash brother Stephen Curry. I will not go that far but they make a great point as to why. The career 41.6% three-point shooter led the NBA in three-pointers made in 2022-23 with 301 made on 41.2% shooting. He has knocked down at least 200 threes in a season seven other times with his two seasons under 100 made threes being his 2022 comeback and the other being his rookie season. Klay’s shooting has been a big reason why the Warriors have won four NBA titles in the last nine seasons.

Paul Pierce has made a habit of making outrageous claims since his NBA career came to an end in 2017. Somehow, NBA fans have taken this as an excuse to underrate his career. Aside from being clutch, Pierce was a more-than-average shooter from three for most of his career. Pierce made over 200 threes once in a season in 2002 with the Celtics when he hit 210 threes on 40.4% shooting. He shot 36.8% from three for his career with 11 seasons of at least 100 threes made.

The final two players in this tier are currently active in the NBA and still adding to their totals. For Kyle Lowry, his days are definitely ticking down in the NBA as he enters his 18th season in 2023-24. Lowry has been a 200 three-pointer in a season shooter twice in his career, both with the Raptors in 2016 and 2018. He has four other seasons with at least 150 made threes as well while shooting 36.7% from deep for his career.

The final member of Tier 3 is one of the smoothest creators of his own three-point shot, Paul George. In 13 seasons, George has worked his way to 14th on the NBA’s all-time list for made threes with 2,010. From 2016 through 2019, George recorded all three of his seasons with at least 200 threes made while shooting at least 37.0%. George shoots 38.1% from three for his career and has nine seasons of at least 150 threes made in just 13 years on the court.

Tier 2: 2,500-2,999 Three-Pointers Made

Ray Allen – 2,973 Three-Pointers Made

James Harden – 2,754 Three-Pointers Made

Reggie Miller – 2,560 Three-Pointers Made

The following tier consists of three of the four players in NBA history to make at least 2,500 three-pointers in their career. We kick things off with the former all-time leader in three-pointers made, Ray Allen, who held the record for 13 seasons before it was broken in 2022. Ray Allen is one of the most clutch shooters ever with arguably the most beautiful shooting style in the game. Allen led the NBA in threes made three times while reaching 200 threes made in a season five times. Allen shot exactly 40.0% from three for his career with the Bucks, SuperSonics, Celtics, and Heat.

James Harden continues to climb this list even with all of the drama surrounding him over the last few seasons. Harden made his way into third place on the NBA’s all-time list for three-pointers made with a 36.3% shooting percentage from deep for his career. Harden led the NBA in three-pointers made every year from 2018 through 2020 which happens to be the years of his three career scoring titles. In 2019, he made a career-high 378 threes in the season and reached 200 threes made five other times. Harden has only been limited to under 100 threes in a season once in his career, his 2010 rookie season with the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Reggie Miller is easily the most savage three-point shooter in NBA history. Not only would Miller break the backs of opponents and the hearts of fans on a nightly basis, but he wasn’t afraid to let his opponents know about it either. For his career, Miller shot 39.5% from three on 4.7 attempts per game. Miller led the NBA twice in total made threes with his career-high of 229 coming in 1997 with the Pacers. Miller had eight other seasons with at least 150 threes made in his career and was held to under 100 threes made in his 18-year career.

Tier 1: 3,000+ Three-Pointers Made

Stephen Curry – 3,390

With an NBA record that continues to grow to astronomical levels, Stephen Curry has already cemented his legacy as the greatest three-point shooter ever. No player has ever connected on their three-point shots with more volume and accuracy than Curry has over the last 14 seasons. His dominance knows no bounds as a shooter. Curry has led the NBA a record seven times in total three-pointers made in a season and is the only player to ever knock down 400 threes in a year.

Curry has a total of four seasons with at least 300 three-pointers made while no other player has more than one. While shooting 42.8% for his career from three, Curry has won four championships, two MVP awards, and one Finals MVP award since 2015. In 10 of his 14 seasons in the NBA, Curry has knocked down at least 200 three-pointers while being held to less than 100 in 2012 and an injury-riddled 2020 season.

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