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Sunday Funday: Who is shooting threes?

Who is most likely to shoot the most threes next year for the Wolves?

Charlotte Hornets v Minnesota Timberwolves Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

One of the things that we have been talking about this offseason is the lack of three-point shooting on the Wolves. Primarily because last year the Wolves shot the least threes of any team in the NBA and they traded their main three-point shooter, Zach LaVine.

The Wolves now have a bunch of average three-point shooters, but no real volume shooters, which has more of an impact on team spacing.

The likely candidates for shooting the most threes per game and their career averages:

  • Andrew Wiggins - 2.5 attempts per game, 32.9 percent from three-point line, and .184 3-point attempt rate
  • Karl-Anthony Towns - 3.4 attempts per game, 36.1 percent from three-point line, and .138 3-point attempt rate
  • Jeff Teague - 2.4 attempts per game, 35.5 percent from three-point line, and .239 3-point attempt
  • Jamal Crawford - 5.0 attempts per game, 35 percent from three-point line, and .383 attempt rate
  • Jimmy Butler - 2.5 attempts per game, 33.7 percent from three point-line, and .224 three point attempt rate

Of these players, Crawford is really the only three-point gunner out of the bunch. He certainly attempts the most threes per game over his career and his three-point attempt rate is significantly higher than any other player.

However, he will also likely be playing the least minutes out of this group. The other four are going to be the Wolves’ starters, along with either Taj Gibson or Gorgui Dieng. Crawford still might shoot the most threes on a per game basis and probably will have the highest three point attempt rate, that being the percentage of his attempts being threes, but one would think that someone else on the team that is starting will be able to drastically up their attempts per game.

Towns’ three-point numbers are actually quite depressed due to the variance between his rookie and sophomore year, when he essentially cut out long-twos from his arsenal (even though he was one of the best at it in the league) and begun to shoot a much higher amount of threes.

  • Rookie year three-point attempt rate - .076
  • Sophomore year three-point attempt rate - .186

But it’s tough to see him shooting that many more threes, as he is also one of the most efficient post-scorers in the NBA.

Many of us are hoping the real increase in three-point attempts per game comes from Wiggins, especially considering his game-type seems the most malleable out of the bunch and subject to the most change in the upcoming season as compared to his prior track record.

Wiggins has been steadily increasing the number of threes he takes per game by about one each year he has been the NBA, with his highest being last season with 3.5 per game. One would think he would hopefully be able to take a few of the shots that Zach LaVine was taking last year and come close to what Crawford will take per game, which will likely be around 5 or so.

Wiggins is where my money would be in terms of who takes the most threes per game, especially in the starting lineup. If he is able to drastically increase his three-point volume while retaining his efficiency of 35 percent or so, that would make him a much more dangerous offensive player, not to mention would help out balance the Wolves’ offensive attack.