Thursday, 23 May 2024

Free Agency Notebook: Analyzing the Moves of NBA’s Elite Shooters

The Milwaukee Bucks recently clinched the NBA championship, demonstrating their dominance with an arsenal of talented shooters. Despite ranking 14th in 3-point percentage during the playoffs, the Bucks managed to overcome this setback, largely due to Giannis Antetokounmpo’s prowess near the basket. However, their performance during the regular season showcased their shooting proficiency as they ranked fifth in 3-point percentage.

In an effort to maintain their shooting prowess, the Bucks have made strategic moves in free agency to bolster their roster. While they bid farewell to Bryn Forbes, they have since acquired Grayson Allen and Semi Ojeleye, both of whom demonstrated above-average shooting skills in the previous season. With these additions, the Bucks now boast seven players capable of shooting at or above the league average from beyond the arc, ranking them second in the league.

It is worth noting that shooting efficiency correlates strongly with offensive performance. Teams with at least five players who shoot 36.7% or better from three-point range are more likely to rank in the top 10 offensively. The Los Angeles Lakers, who struggled offensively last season, have made significant strides in bolstering their shooting capabilities by adding five skilled shooters to their roster. This could potentially propel them to new heights in terms of offensive output.

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While shooting proficiency is desirable, it’s important to recognize that not all players maintain their shooting prowess consistently from season to season. In fact, only 57% of players who shot the league average or better in the 2019-20 season were able to repeat the feat in the following season. Therefore, it remains to be seen whether the same players will maintain their shooting efficiency in the upcoming season.

Some teams face challenges in retaining skilled shooters from previous seasons. For instance, the Detroit Pistons, Golden State Warriors, and Orlando Magic were unable to retain any of their two-year shooters this offseason. However, the Golden State Warriors will benefit from the return of Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, assuming they regain their health.

Additionally, the LA Clippers and the Utah Jazz continue to excel in the realm of shooting. The Clippers boast six players who have consistently shot at or above the league average from beyond the arc for the past two seasons. Similarly, the Jazz had six players fulfilling this criterion but lost one in free agency.

In summary, the free agency period has reshaped the landscape of the NBA, with teams strategically acquiring or losing talented shooters. As the upcoming season approaches, it remains to be seen which players will maintain their shooting efficiency and how these changes will ultimately impact team performance.