Cameron Thomas of LSU shoots vs. Michigan

Five-minute draft guide: NBA comparisons for top perimeter shooters

Pelicans Draft 2021 presented by HUB
by Jim Eichenhofer
@Jim_Eichenhofer

In pre-draft analysis of what the New Orleans Pelicans might be looking for in this draft, it’s a common refrain that shooting is at the top of the list. Then again, the same might be said for the vast majority of the league’s 30 teams, particularly as the three-point shot continues to increase in prominence. Last season, teams averaged an all-time record 34.6 attempts from beyond the arc per game, nearly doubling the average from a decade ago (teams took 18.0 treys a night in 2010-11). 

To get a better feel for some of the top-shooting prospects in this draft class, Pelicans.com asked an anonymous NBA scout to give his opinion on the accuracy of pro comparisons of selected players. For each player, we provided NBA comparisons that were made by prominent draft websites (such as The Ringer, NBADraft.net, NBA Draft Room), then asked which one is the most accurate comp, based specifically on traits and style of play. Players are listed in alphabetical order:

Jared Butler, Baylor guard

College three-point percentages: 41.6 last season, 38.4 career in three seasons

Goran Dragic, Avery Bradley or Bryn Forbes?

Scout: “Goran Dragic. Good shooter like Goran. Good passer despite not dominating ball. Good team defender. Will fit with any team that drafts him.”

Josh Christopher, Arizona State guard

College three-point percentages: 30.5 in one season

Norman Powell, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope or Nick Young?

Scout: “I like the Nick Young comp. Very comfortable off the bounce. Better shooter than the numbers show. A very flashy, explosive player. Josh will be very good in an off-ball role.”

Chris Duarte, Oregon guard

College three-point percentages: 42.4 last season, 38.0 career in two seasons

Klay Thompson, Danny Green or Gary Trent Jr.?

Scout: “Trent. Mature game. Should be able to hit shots at the next level. Not as good as a shooter as Danny or Klay. Mature body, so he should be able to keep up on the defensive end.”

Nah’Shon Hyland, VCU guard

College three-point percentages: 37.1 last season, 39.9 career in two seasons

Jamal Crawford, Jordan Clarkson or Immanuel Quickley?

Scout: “Quickley is a great comp. Should be able to come off the bench and score. Good three-point shooter and has the ability to manufacture points in the paint. Not the mid-range shooter Clarkson is.”

Tre Mann, Florida guard

College three-point percentages: 40.2 last season, 34.9 career in two seasons

D’Angelo Russell, Darius Garland or Devin Harris?

Scout: “Devin Harris is a great comp. Will not wow with his athleticism but is extremely skilled. Above-average passer and shooter. Russell is an elite passer and Garland is an elite shooter. Mann is a notch below in both categories.”

Trey Murphy, Virginia forward

College three-point percentages: 43.3 last season, 40.1 career in three seasons

OG Anunoby, De’Andre Hunter or Cam Johnson?

Scout: “Cam Johnson is a perfect comparison. Both are elite shooters with elite size.”

Josh Primo, Alabama guard/forward

College three-point percentages: 38.1 in one season

Caris LeVert, Anfernee Simons or Gary Trent Jr.?

Scout: “Reminds me of Gary Trent. Straight shooter at Alabama; very limited role in college. Probably can do more but had no chance to showcase it in college.”

Jaden Springer, Tennessee guard

College three-point percentages: 43.5 in one season

Kyle Lowry, Malcolm Brogdon or DeShawn Stevenson?

Scout: “Kyle Lowry is his ceiling but the similarities are evident. Excellent all-around game. Very good and willing perimeter defender like Kyle. Has the ability to get to the line at a high rate. Not sure if he’s a full-time PG like Kyle, but definitely had some flashes as a perimeter defender. Effective, but low-volume shooter (20 of 46 on threes in 2020-21). How his shooting develops will determine his ceiling. More athletic than Brogdon, and better playmaking ability than DeShawn.”

Cameron Thomas, LSU guard

College three-point percentages: 32.5 in one season

Buddy Hield, Terrence Ross or Lou Williams?

Scout: “I think he is most similar to Tyrese Maxey. Good college scorer, lots of potential but needs to improve his playmaking and shooting efficiency.”

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