Specialty players can make an impact at the 2023 NBA Draft, especially as the game has evolved around the three-point ball.
These 10 players all have a unique ability to hit at a high percentage from deep. Some players rely on hitting threes as the top part of their game. Others use it as an asset among other skills. Either way, if teams are looking to add shooting in the 2023 NBA Draft, don’t look elsewhere!
10. Seth Lundy, Penn State
2022-23 stats: 2.6 3PM/game, 40.0 3P%
Seth Lundy came to Penn State as a good shooter but got even better as his role expanded. He’s been compared to Dillon Brooks, but Lundy averaged 0.7 more 3PM over the course of his career.
The comparisons aren’t far-fetched, but given Lundy’s more proven ability to stretch the defense, he seems like a guy who can translate his shooting to an NBA roster.
9. Ben Sheppard, Belmont
2022-23 stats: 2.5 3PM/game, 41.5 3P%
Coming from a mid-major is always a concern, but Sheppard has been putting up above-average numbers for three seasons, and elite numbers for the past two. His 3P% got better each year he spent in college, going above 40% for the first time in his career last season.
Sheppard is also a gifted defender, making him one of the top under-the-radar 3-and-D guys in this year’s draft. He went 8-for-11 from three in a game against Middle Tennessee last season, proving an ability to stay hot for an entire game. Sheppard can be a microwave off of some team’s bench.
8. Marcus Sasser, Houston
2022-23 stats: 2.7 3PM/game, 38.4 3P%
There is a lot to like about Marcus Sasser. The Houston guard is a menace on defense and does a good job of taking care of the ball. He’s also one of the top three-point shooters in the 2023 NBA Draft. In his senior year at Houston, Sasser shot 38.4%, hitting nearly three per game.
There’s even more promise when you look at his season cut short. The year before, an injury limited Sasser to just 12 games. However, up until his season ended, Sasser was making 3.8 threes per game at a 43.7% clip. He’s only 6-foot-1, but Sasser can light it up from deep.
7. Adam Flagler, Baylor
2022-23 stats: 2.5 3PM/game, 40.0 3P%
Another terrific 3-and-D guy, Flagler will also bring point guard skills to whoever drafts him. When you talk about consistency, Flagler is one of the best on this list. He started his career at Presbyterian and played three years at Baylor, never shooting below 38.6% from deep in any season.
Last season may have been his best when you take into consideration it was his second-best percentage, and he also made 2.5 threes per game. Flagler will likely be a second-round pick, but he brings a championship mentality and should be able to use his range in the NBA.
6. Julian Strawther, Gonzaga
2022-23 stats: 2.2 3PM/game, 40.8 3P%
Strawther is elite from deep but he’s also clutch. He hit two of the best game-winners in college basketball last season, knocking off BYU in a heated rivalry game, and then over UCLA in the Elite 8.
Strawther shot it at 32.1% from deep as a freshman, 36.5% as a sophomore, and then 40.8% last year. Those steady improvements should translate well to a deeper arc. He should have no problem making it in the NBA, and if he keeps getting better from three, Strawther will be a steal in the 2023 NBA Draft.
5. Brandin Podziemski, Santa Clara
2022-23 stats: 2.5 3PM/game, 43.8 3P%
The 6-foot-5 guard showed Illinois what they were missing. He transferred from the Illini to Santa Clara and exploded onto the scene, almost averaging 20 points per game.
You’ve also got to take into consideration how much his game changed. At Illinois, Podziemski couldn’t even see the floor and when he did, wasn’t showing much. At Santa Clara, he was lethal, shooting nearly 44% from deep and pulling down almost nine boards per game. Take the mid-major factor out of this, and Podziemski will be a great pickup.
4. Jordan “Jelly” Walker, UAB
2022-23 stats: 4.1 3PM/game, 37.8 3P%
Jelly hoisted more threes per game than any other player on this list, but he also made more, at 4.1 per game. At 5-foot-11, it may be a challenge for Walker to do the same in the NBA, but it’s not impossible. He hit at a very decent clip and was even better the year before. Walker wasn’t just some one-shot-wonder and if anything, his experience playing five seasons in six years in college should pay off.
3. Kobe Brown, Missouri
2022-23 stats: 1.5 3PM/game, 45.5 3P%
In his first three years at Missouri, Brown couldn’t hit the St. Louis Arch from 20 feet away. Last season, it was a new Brown. The projected second-round pick has the highest three-point percentage of any player on this list. Of course, sustainability is one question. Was it a fluke or will Brown actually keep it up?
One reason to believe he can is his efficiency when taking a lot of threes. Brown hit 5-of-6 three-pointers against LSU, 5-of-7 versus Texas A&M, and 4-of-6 against Ole Miss. That’s a good basis to start with for a guy who worked on his game and he should see it pay off in the 2023 NBA Draft.
2. Gradey Dick, Kansas
2022-23 stats: 2.3 3PM/game, 40.3 3P%
The only freshman on this list, it was evident how talented Gradey Dick was all season long. Not many freshmen can come into Kansas, mind you the year after they won the national championship, and be efficient in a large role.
Dick started every game and hit 40.3% of his three-point attempts. That was highlighted by a 6-of-12 effort against NC State, 5-of-8 against West Virginia, and 5-of-9 versus Iowa State. Only three times did Dick fail to hit a three-pointer, and against Oklahoma, he didn’t even attempt one. He’s only scratching the surface. Dick will be a great pick in the 2023 NBA Draft.
1. Jordan Hawkins, UConn
2022-23 stats: 2.9 3PM/game, 38.8 3P%
Hawkins can do it all from deep. He made just a tick under 3 threes per game last year, proving he can connect at a high capacity. He also did it at a high rate in one of the toughest defensive conferences in college basketball.
But what really sticks out about Hawkins is his ability to hit closely defended shots. I watched a lot of UConn games, and Hawkins doesn’t need much separation to get off a clean release. His form is excellent, and he’s just a sophomore, so there’s no telling how much better he can get. The projected lottery pick in the 2023 NBA Draft might be the best three-point shooter available.