Shooters are invaluable to a championship-caliber team in the NBA. After all, both the Miami Heat and San Antonio Spurs feature multiple knock-down shooters and currently find themselves vying for the title this June.
With the 2013 NBA draft just over two weeks away, shooting will once again become a coveted asset for all 30 NBA franchises.
While general mangers will of course be looking at and analyzing size, motor and potential, possessing a player who can put the ball in the basket consistently is every bit as vital as boasting a seven-foot shot-blocker.
Below we'll highlight the top shooters set to have their names called in the opening round of the 2013 NBA draft this June.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Georgia, SG
Former Georgia shooting guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope is flying under the radar heading into this summer's draft, but NBA fans should get to know him.
The 6'6" 2-guard has come a long way as a shooter in two seasons with the Bulldogs. Caldwell-Pope shot just 43 percent from the floor this past season in Athens as a sophomore, but connected on 37 percent of his three-point attempts, averaging close to three made three-pointers per game.
The 20-year-old also improve mightily from the foul line, where he was a 65-percent shooter his freshman year. He shot 80 percent from the free throw line this past season.
What scouts and coaches will love about Caldwell-Pope is his range. He needs to become a better ball handler in order to be able to create solid opportunities at the next level, but when he has space, he can knock down a shot from anywhere on the floor.
C.J. McCollum, Lehigh, PG
Underrated former Lehigh star C.J. McCollum is an absolute stud on the offensive end, especially when it comes to shooting the basketball.
Despite missing a lot of time last season after suffering a foot injury, McCollum managed to shoot 49.5 percent from the floor and a ridiculous 51.6 percent from beyond the arc, making 33-of-64 three-pointers on the season.
The 6'3" McCollum also shot a career-best 85 percent from the foul line in 2012-13. There isn't a spot on the floor where he struggles to shoot the ball, making him a favorite to go in the lottery this June.
McCollum isn't just a great shooter, he's a tremendous scorer in general. He averaged at least 19 points per game in each of his four seasons at Lehigh, and averaged close to 22 points per game as a sophomore and junior before ending his senior season with a 24-point-per-game average.
Ben McLemore, Kansas, SG
While top 2013 NBA draft prospect Ben McLemore is known for his exceptional athleticism and ability to play above the rim, it's his phenomenal shooting touch that has drawn comparisons to NBA star Ray Allen.
Which shooter has the most potential at the next level?
As a freshman at Kansas last season, McLemore led the Jayhawks in scoring, averaging 15.9 points per game. But he was efficient in doing so, shooting 49.5 percent from the field and 42 percent from beyond the three-point line.
McLemore was stellar at the foul line as well, where he shot 87 percent for the season.
Unlike Caldwell-Pope and McCollum, McLemore is being projected as a potential top-five pick considering his upside and overall athleticism. Therefore, if he can continue to develop his stroke and become less of a streak shooter, the sky is the limit for him at the next level.
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