Stephen Curry did it.
In a win over the Knicks, the Warriors superstar passed Ray Allen on the NBA’s all-time list of 3-point field goals and now stands alone atop the mountain with plenty of gas left in the tank to extend his lead.
Curry could one day find himself on the list of unbreakable records, but we asked our Sporting News staff to try and put that thought aside and answer the question: Who will break Stephen Curry’s 3-point field goals record?
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Scott Rafferty (@crabdribbles ): I’m sure Trae Young and Luka Doncic are going to be a popular answer here, so I’m going to go in a slightly different direction.
You know who’s made a boatload of 3s in his young career? Donovan Mitchell.
He isn’t necessarily known as a “shooter,” but Mitchell has a couple of things going for him. One, he was drafted at a relatively young age of 21 and has been pretty healthy to this point of his career. Two, he’s been both an accurate (36.1 percent) and high volume 3-point shooter (2.7 makes per game) since stepping foot in the NBA.
You get the point.
There’s a chance nobody will even come close to touching Curry’s record, but at the rate he’s going, Mitchell could give him a run for his money.
Gilbert McGregor (@GMcGregor21 ): Before reading Scott’s answer, a specific name came to mind.
Then I read Scott’s answer, and that specific name was recurring throughout. It’s impossible for me not to go with Buddy Hield, who is among the top of the list of 3s made through a player’s first three seasons, four seasons … and five seasons (thanks, Scott.)
Actually, though, despite the fact that Hield came into the league as a 23-year-old rookie and turns 29 this season, there’s something about the way that a shooter’s game ages. Hield has the type of green light that allows him to get them up.
I mean, seriously, he’s attempted 10-plus 3s in each of the last two seasons.
A career 40.1 percent 3-point shooter, Hield has surpassed 1,200 made 3s a quarter of the way through his seventh season. Whether he stays in Sacramento or finds himself in a different situation, we still know what Hield is going to do every night.
He’s making 3.7 3s per game over the last four seasons and if he keeps that up … he could reach the 3,000 mark in about six seasons time. Whoever passes up Curry is probably going to have to exceed a figure well over 4,000, which, in a way, leads me to believe no one can actually do it.
But there’s also a chance that Hield strings together a few seasons of making over four a game, and that changes things completely.
Jordan Greer ( @jordangreer42 ): I was initially going to choose Trae Young because he is on pace to be ahead of Curry in terms of made 3-pointers by the end of their fourth NBA season. Young is only 23 years old and shoots at a high volume from deep, so he should be near the top of the all-time 3-point leaderboard when his career is over.
But I just can’t quite convince myself that Young (or anyone else) will pass Curry. I think we could eventually be staring at a record that belongs in the unbreakable category along with Wilt Chamberlain’s 100-point game and John Stockton’s 15,806 assists.
Consider this: Ray Allen drained 2,973 3-pointers in 1,300 games. Curry passed him in less than 800 games, and he has shown no signs of slowing down. In fact, Curry is currently averaging career-highs in 3-pointers made and attempted per game. The increase in shots from beyond the arc hasn’t hurt his efficiency, as he is shooting over 40 percent on 3-pointers in 2021-22.
You also have to factor in how Curry will age. An older version of Curry will still be one of the deadliest shooters in the league. Kyle Korver was drilling more than 100 3-pointers each season into his late 30s, and he was mostly limited to catch-and-shoot opportunities. Past-his-prime Curry should have no problem transitioning into that role and throwing in the occasional on-ball creativity.
Could Young, Luka Doncic or some teenage prospect who hasn’t even entered the NBA yet approach Curry’s total? Maybe, but I’m taking Curry over the field here.
Carlan Gay ( @TheCarlanGay ): Like Jordan, I think Curry’s 3-point record will end up being an unbreakable feat. You never want to say never, but there’s a 0.01 percent chance we’ll be around and covering the NBA when someone comes close to catching Curry.
That being said, I’d like to throw Devin Booker’s name in the race.
Booker’s journey to the record feels a bit like Ray Allen’s to me. Booker is an accurate 3-point shooter, but he’s more than just that — he can flat out score at all three levels. As he ages, though, I can see him extending his career as a three-ball threat.
That part of his career is still ways away as he’s just 25 years old now, but with over 800 3s already under his belt, Booker should find himself somewhere near the top of this list before it’s all said and done.
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