With the NBA entering its 75th anniversary, more and more young talent are enticing into the league more skilled than ever, and many are already elite shooters. With shooting, in particular, three-point shooting has become such a big part of the NBA. Players are taught younger, better ways to shoot, which has led to so many great young shooters in the NBA.
Right now in the NBA, the league is in this weird battle with older players who are still at the top of their game and young players who are ready to take over. These young players are so skilled, and every season the rookies get more and more skilled. Shooting has almost become a priority to stay on the court, so younger players are becoming expectational.
This is a list of the three best shooters who are under the age of 25.
#3 Jayson Tatum, Boston Celtics, 23 years old
It is kind of crazy that Jayson Tatum is only 23 years old, entering his fifth season in the NBA. Tatum was drafted third overall in the 2017 NBA Draft by the Boston Celtics and has since been a two-time All-Star. In his career, he is a 46% shooter from the field and 39% from three.
Tatum has had two halves to his NBA career, but both have been efficient from both the field and three. In the first two seasons of his career, Tatum only attempted 11.8 shots per game and 3.5 threes, shooting 46% from the field and 40% from three. In the last two seasons, Tatum jumped up to taking 19.6 attempts and 7.3 threes per game while shooting at an efficient 46% front the field and 39% from three.
Despite the massive jump in shots taken, Tatum was able to maintain the same efficacy, which is a testament to how good of a shooter he is. So far this season, it looks like Tatum will be trying to expand his range, averaging 9.5 threes in two games, but only making 21% of them. When Tatum gets back to his usual averages, he will be adding another level to his already All-Star caliber player.
Tatum has already proven to be a good NBA player, and now it is just up to him to move into being a great NBA player.
#2 Saddiq Bey, Detroit Pistons, 22 years old
Saddiq Bey will be entering his second season in the NBA at 22 years old, which puts Tatum into perspective. However, he has already made a massive impact as a shooter. Bey was selected by the Brooklyn Nets with the 19th overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft and was traded to the Detroit Pistons on draft night.
Bey’s NBA rookie season shot 38% from three on 6.6 attempts, which is not one of the highest percentages in the NBA under young players. However, Bey took 460 threes, which was 16th most in the NBA last season. On top of that, out of players who shot over 450 threes, a list of 19 players, Bey had the 9th highest three-point percentage. That put him in the same category as some of the most elite three-point shooters in the NBA.
Bey entered into elite company statistically and, only time can tell how good Bey could eventually be as a shooter.
#1 Michael Porter Jr., Denver Nuggets, 23 years old
Michael Porter Jr. had to miss his rookie season due to injury and then got to a slow start in his second season in the NBA due to injuries. But last season Porter was healthy, playing in 61 games, and his shooting exploded onto the scene. For his career, Porter is 44% from three on 4.6 attempts per game.
Last season, Porter shot 45% from three on 6.3 attempts, moving into the conversation for one of the NBA’s shooters in just his second season playing. Porter also took advantage of the opportunities that were offered to him. After Jamal Murray suffered an ACL injury, Porter was asked to play a more significant role in the Denver Nuggets offense.
After the All-Star break, Porter went off from three, attempting 233 threes, and making 46% of them. His hot shooting did not continue into the playoffs, but his shooting lasted long enough to get him recognition.
This season should see Porter continue to ascend, with Murray missing a big chunk of the season.