Free Agency

The five best shooters available in free agency

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Wayne Ellington and JJ Redick (Getty Images)

With how important spacing is in today's NBA, shooters are always in high demand.

This summer's free agency class isn't as loaded with floor spacers as last summer's was, but four of the best 3-point shooters in the league will become available when the clock strikes midnight on July 1, as will one of the NBA's best off-the-dribble shooters.

From JJ Redick to Paul George, let's take a look at what each of them accomplished this season.

JJ Redick, Unrestricted Free Agent (Expiring)

Season stats: 17.1 PPG, 2.8 3PM, 42.0 3PT%

Redick has long been one of the best outside shooters in the NBA. In making 45.5 percent of his catch-and-shoot 3-point attempts, the veteran ranked in the 91.2 percentile with 1.20 points per spot-up possession this season. His ability to make 3-pointers from a standstill gives him the tools to thrive alongside ball dominant players who command the attention of multiple defenders, as was the case with Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid in Philadelphia.

Redick doesn't only spot-up, though. He's equally as effective scoring off of screens and he finished second in points scored off of handoffs this season. The combination means defences have to account for him at all times in the halfcourt. (According to NBA.com, Redick covered an average of 1.26 miles per game on offence in 2017-18, putting him on the same page as All-Stars Stephen Curry, LeBron James and Kyle Lowry despite his much lower usage rate).

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Wayne Ellington, Unrestricted Free Agent (Expiring)

Season stats: 11.2 PPG, 2.9 3PM, 39.2 3PT%

Not only did Ellington make the 6th most 3-pointers in the league this season, he set the NBA record for 3-pointers made by a reserve in a single season.

Ellington wasn't as efficient as Redick in catch-and-shoot situations, but he made the third-most catch-and-shoot 3-pointers on the second-most attempts. It culminated in 84.2 percent of his field goal attempts coming from the perimeter, giving him the highest 3-point attempt rate in the league.

Additionally, Ellington is an excellent scorer off of screens and handoffs. He was the only player in the league to score more points than Redick off of handoffs and he did so at a rate of 1.06 points per possession, ranking him in the 80.5 percentile. It helps that Ellington is slightly taller and longer than Redick, because he doesn't need much breathing room to get his shot off.

Joe Harris, Unrestricted Free Agent (Expiring)

Season stats: 10.8 PPG, 1.9 3PM, 41.9 3PT%

He might not have the name recognition of other players on this list, but Harris was one of the best 3-point shooters in the league this season. Few players were as deadly as the 6-foot-6 wing on spot-ups (his most used play) and he proved to be a capable scorer off of screens, ranking in the 75.5 percentile with 1.11 points per possession.

Harris finished near the top of the league in shooting efficiency on drives as well. While he attempted less than 2.0 shots per game on drives, he can attack closeouts and make defenders pay for thinking they know what's coming next when he's running off of screens. He's younger than both Redick and Ellington, and he might not command the same contract as them in free agency this summer, paving the way for a team to acquire the Washington native on a bargain deal.

Chris Paul, Unrestricted Free Agent (Expiring)

Season stats: 18.6 PPG, 2.5 3PM, 38.0 3PT%

Paul knocked down 4.4 pull-up jumpers per game in 2017-18, the most in the league. He made almost the same amount the season before, the difference being that he was far more reliant on 3-point pull-ups (as opposed to 2-point pull-ups) in his first season with the Rockets than he ever was with the Clippers.

Season 2-point pull-up frequency 3-point pull-up frequency
2013-14 (LAC) 46.4% 15.3%
2014-15 (LAC) 49.6% 18.7%
2015-16 (LAC) 47.1% 20.7%
2016-17 (LAC) 46.0% 27.5%
2017-18 (HOU) 33.0% 39.3%

Paul was incredibly efficient from both ranges, too. According to NBA.com, he made 52.7 percent of his 2-point pull-ups and 38.1 percent of his 3-point pull-ups this season. The former gave something the Rockets were desperately missing last season and the latter made Paul a perfect fit in Mike D'Antoni's system.

Paul George, Unrestricted Free Agent (Player Option)

Season stats: 21.9 PPG, 3.1 3PM, 40.1 3PT%

George is coming off of the best 3-point shooting season of his career. He made the second-most 3-pointers in the league as a member of the Thunder at an impressive 40.1 percent clip.

Becoming a volume shooter from distance turned George into the perfect complement to Russell Westbrook. The five-time All-Star saw his usage rate fall in Oklahoma City, but Westbrook returned the favour by assisting on more than half of his 3-pointers this season, the bulk of which came on these sort of drives-and-kicks:

Throw in his comfort scoring off the dribble from midrange and 3-point range - plus his efficiency off of screens - and George has developed into a complete shooting who would fit in with a number of different teams.

Honourable mention

Kevin Durant for being an efficient three-level scorer (though he isn't expected to entertain offers from rival teams this offseason).

Fred VanVleet for making 44.5 percent of his catch-and-shoot 3-pointers.

Trevor Ariza for averaging 1.08 points per spot-up possession (73.0 percentile).

Marco Belinelli for being a tough shot maker from distance.

DeMarcus Cousins for the spacing he provides as a 3-point shooter from the center position.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope for improving every season as a 3-point shooter.

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