A Look at Each NBA Franchise's Leader in Three Pointers Made

Steven ResnickSenior Writer ISeptember 29, 2009

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While I took a break from studying I typed "The NBA moves the three point line in and then back" into a Google search.

The second option was, "Can you name the all-time three point shooters for each of the 30 NBA teams."

I was confident that I would do well. At first I couldn't understand why none of the names I was putting in would go with the respective teams.

In actuality I was just not guessing the right players, so I decided to try again. Eventually I just just went on basketball-reference, looked at each team's leaders and then put them in.

Yet, some names you would never even think of as being the team's leader in three pointers. Others were far more easy to guess.

Here's the list of each NBA team's career leader in three point field goals made.

Atlanta Hawks

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Mookie Blaylock—1,050 three pointers. Really, I didn't have much trouble in guessing Blaylock.

Blaylock in the mid 90's really wasn't known for his offensive abilities. He shot an abysmal 40.9 percent from the field in his career, and even though he's the leader in three pointers made for the Hawks he isn't in the top 10 for three point percentage.

Blaylock was known more for his defensive abilities and his ability to distribute the ball.

Boston Celtics

It took me a couple of tries before getting this one. I don't think I would have even guessed right if I hadn't looked at basketball-reference.

I thought it would be Larry Bird, but it wasn't.

The leader in three point field goals made for the Celtics with 1,358 and counting is Paul Pierce.

Pierce has got a pretty solid stroke from beyond the arc. He has a career three point percentage of 36.6

Charlotte Bobcats

The Bobcats don't really have much of a history yet. Considering that the Bobcats have been around for only five seasons it was the power of deduction and again basketball-reference.

Yet, when you look at the race between the top two you will find that the leader has made two more than the second place finisher. Raymond Felton so far has made 315 three pointers for the Bobcats.

I wouldn't hold your breath though when Felton lines up to shoot a three. For his career he has shot a disappointing 31.8 percent from beyond the arc.

He's still young, so he does have the time to bring up that percentage.

Chicago Bulls

With the Bulls it was interesting because there were comments that you can read on that quiz as well. Many people thought that the Bulls leader in threes was either Michael Jordan or Scottie Pippen. Neither is correct.

I knew it wasn't Jordan because even though Jordan was a great scorer, he wasn't a great three point shooter. And neither was Pippen. In fact most of the highlights of Jordan and Pippen are not them hitting threes, but of them attacking the rim.

I also realized it wouldn't be Steve Kerr, John Paxson, or B.J. Armstrong due to the fact that they didn't take too many shots. They were basically role players and were only utilized when there names were called on.

So, the all-time three point field goal leader for the Chicago Bulls is Ben Gordon, and so far he's been the best three point shooter out of the group. He leaves the Bulls with 770 three pointers made and a three point percentage of 41.5 percent, which is good for 10th in NBA history.

Cleveland Cavaliers

This one I knew the answer to: Mark Price.

Price had an excellent stroke, and during his time was one of the more underrated point guards during the 90's. Unfortunately for him he ran into some injuries that cut his career short.

He made a total of 802 threes for the Cavaliers. As of right now Price has the Cavs record, but soon that record will be wiped out by Lebron James.

For the Cavs Price hit 40.9 percent from three during his tenure.

Dallas Mavericks

This was another answer I knew. Dirk Nowitizki is the all-time leader in three point field goals made. There really wasn't anyone else to guess either.

In his career Nowitzki has made 1,080 three pointers for the Mavericks. Nowitzki gets to be recognized as the tallest man on the list at 7'0".

He also is a career 37.8 percent shooter from beyond the arc.

Denver Nuggets

This one was a head-scratcher for me. I had no clue who it would be. I didn't even bother hazarding a guess. Looking back I'm surprised I didn't try Chris Jackson/Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf, but even with that guess it would have been wrong.

Dale Ellis would have been my other guess, considering the fact he is second in three pointers made in his career.

But the Nuggets' career leader in three point field goals made is Michael Adams with 630. What's interesting about the 630 threes made by Adams is the fact that he did that in just four years for the Nuggets.

Adams' reign as leader may come to a close in the next couple of years with J.R. Smith on the team. Adams' three point percentage was 36.4 percent.

Detroit Pistons

Joe Dumars just popped into my head as the answer, and it was of course correct. Dumars made 990 threes for the Pistons in his stellar career.

In his career Dumars shot 38.2 percent from downtown.

Other players that may come to mind are Lindsey Hunter and Chauncey Billups, but based on Dumars' longevity with the Pistons you could deduce rather easily that it was Dumars.

Golden State Warriors

Ah! My favorite team you, so would think that I would have gotten this one right, but I didn't.

I wanted to guess Chris Mullin or Rick Barry. Yet, it wasn't either of them. And Mullin actually made fewer threes than the man in second place for the Warriors.

Richardson, along with leading in three pointers made, also shot 35 percent.

Houston Rockets

One of the more colorful players in Houston Rockets history has the most three pointers in team history. I also wasn't going anywhere on who it was until again basketball-reference gave me the answer.

Cuttino Mobley would have also been a good guess as well, but he comes in at number two in franchise history for the Rockets.

Vernon Maxwell is the all-time leader in three pointers made for the Rockets with 730. However, he didn't shoot it from beyond the arc for a high percentage for his career as a Rocket. His three point shooting percentage was 32.3 percent.

Indiana Pacers

This is the one answer that was the easiest. There's no question of who has made the most threes in NBA history and that is Reggie Miller. Miller for his career made a staggering 2,560 threes.

What's even more amazing was his ability to hit for a high percentage throughout his illustrious career with the Pacers. He made 39.5 percent of his threes.

Los Angeles Clippers

Eric Piatkowski—another player you would never guess. Why? Well when have the Clippers been relevant? Not for a very long time.

Piatkowski had a smooth stroke from three and it showed because he made 738 threes for the Clippers and he hit 40.2 percent of his threes while with the Clippers.

Corey Maggette is the second leading three point shooter in Clippers history, but he made less than half of that amount.

Los Angeles Lakers

Kobe Bryant is the all-time leader in three pointers made for the franchise. He has made 1,204 threes for his career and has a three point field goal percentage of 34.1 percent.

Originally I had guessed Byron Scott, but the realization hit me that it obviously had to be Kobe because he does like to shoot the three even though he doesn't hit for a very high percentage.

Memphis Grizzlies

Another relatively new franchise, although they did start out in Vancouver. Even though the franchise has been around only for 14 years their leader in threes only made one fewer than the Clippers' three point field goal leader.

Mike Miller has the most threes in franchise history. Shane Battier comes in second but well off from Miller's 737 three pointers made.

Not only does Miller hit the three, he also shoots for a very high percentage, as shown by his franchise leading 41.4 percent average from beyond the arc.

Miami Heat

The Miami Heat have had some excellent shooters come through their franchise with the likes of Steve Smith, Eddie Jones, and Glen Rice but none of them is the franchise leader in three pointers made.

In fact it was the guy who is number two in franchise history for the Golden State Warriors. That is Tim Hardaway, who holds the franchise record for three pointers made with 806.

For his career with the Heat Hardaway hit 35.8 percent from beyond the arc.

Milwaukee Bucks

The Bucks career leader in three pointers is Ray Allen, another answer that was relatively easy. Michael Redd in the near future may have something to say about that, however.

In his career with the Bucks Allen made 1,051 threes. He also shot for a high percentage as well (40.6 percent in Milwaukee), and in NBA history he has one of the sweetest strokes from beyond the arc.

Minnesota Timberwolves

The Timberwolves were another team you had to get help with because when thinking through their history there hasn't really been a three point shooter that really stands out.

In fact the leader in three point field goals made for the Timberwolves was former Laker Anthony Peeler. In his time with the Timberwolves he made 465 threes.

Okay, I may have overlooked Wally Sczerbiak, but he came in second for three pointers made.

Peeler ended up hitting 37.9 percent from beyond the arc in his tenure with Minnesota.

New Jersey Nets

The Nets' the all-time leader in three point percentage is Jason Kidd, and I had a pretty good idea that it was him. Kidd, although not much of a shooter in general can hit the three from time to time, and he spent a majority of his career in New Jersey.

Vince Carter was another guess, but in the end I went with Kidd and it was the right answer.

Kidd made 813 threes for the Nets but ended up with a career percentage of 34.5 from outside.

New Orleans Hornets

When guessing for this one you have to make sure that you include the Charlotte Hornets history. So, Peja Stojakovic would have been a good guess, but it's not the answer.

Glen Rice would have been another great guess as well because he was a terrific shooter as well, but that wasn't the answer either. In fact the three point field goal leader for the Hornets didn't even start. In his career with the Hornets he hit 929 of them.

Dell Curry possessed one of the sweetest strokes in NBA history. He, like Manu Ginobili, was the ultimate bench player.

Curry hit 40.5 percent from three for his career with the Hornets.

New York Knicks

I'm not an expert on the Knicks history, but the only two players that I would remotely guess for three pointers would have been John Starks or Allan Houston. And because Houston was injured throughout most of his time in New York, that left Starks.

But even with the injuries Houston was 62 threes away from surpassing Starks' total.

Starks in his career for the Knicks hit 982 threes. In his time with the Knicks he hit 34.8 percent from beyond the arc.

Oklahoma City Thunder/Seattle Sonics

There were four names to choose from in terms of three point shooters for the franchise's history—Rashard Lewis, Ray Allen, Gary Payton, or Dale Ellis.

I immediately went with Payton, but again that was the wrong answer. Lewis is the all-time leader in three pointers made for the Thunder/Sonics franchise. In his career with the Sonics Lewis hit 973 threes at a 38.6 percent clip.

Oklahoma City Thunder

If you take away the Seattle franchise from Oklahoma City separately then the leader in three pointers made is Kevin Durant. This was an easy guess considering that the Thunder is entering its second year in existence.

Durant has made 97 threes so far and shot 42.2 percent from beyond the arc.

Orlando Magic

There are a couple of names that come to mind when thinking of the Magic. Nick Anderson, Penny Hardaway, and Dennis Scott. The all-time leader in three point field goals made for the franchise is Scott.

Scott made 981 threes for the Magic and shot 40.3 percent from beyond the arc during his time with the Magic.

Philadelphia 76ers

For three pointers Allen Iverson was the obvious choice because he has taken so many of them, and he's one of the greatest scorers in NBA history.

The only name I could come up with other than Iverson was Hersey Hawkins or Dana Barros, but neither of them played for that long has a 76er.

Iverson was far and away the player that hit the most threes in franchise history, and the man in second place is the Ashton Kutcher look alike, Kyle Korver.

Iverson made 877 threes for the 76ers, but his three point percentage was the worst of any of the franchises. He hit for just 30.8 percent from beyond the arc.

Phoenix Suns

Steve Nash, Dan Majerle, and Wesley Person are names that come to mind when thinking of shooters from the Suns. Yet, even though Nash hits a high percentage of threes he is not the leader in three point field goals made for the franchise.

Majerle is the all-time leader with 800 threes. Nash should surpass him in the coming season, but at this point it still belongs to Majerle.

For his career with the Suns he hit 34.5 percent from beyond the arc.

Portland Trail Blazers

The only names I could come up with here were Cliff Robinson, Terry Porter, and Clyde Drexler. There was one other name that I totally spaced on maybe because he hasn't been that relevant lately, but Damon Stoudamire is actually in second place for most threes made in the Trail Blazers franchise.

It's Porter that is the all-time leader in three point field goals made with 773. He hit 38.5 percent of his threes for the Blazers.

Sacramento Kings

During the playoff runs you can remember watching the trio of Vlade Divac, Chris Webber, and Peja Stojakovic. There really wasn't much question about who was the Kings leader in threes, although Mitch Richmond would also have been a great guess.

Peja leads the Kings franchise with 1,070 threes, and he hit them at a 39.8 percent clip.

San Antonio Spurs

The Spurs are really not known for having a tremendous three point shooter. Manu Ginobili comes to mind and Sean Elliot, and that's about it. Ginobili is the actual leader in the Spurs franchise history in terms of three pointers made.

So far in his career Ginobili has made 672 threes and shoots at a 37.6 percent. As for Elliot he ranks third in franchise history, and Bruce Bowen is actually number two in terms of three pointers made.

Toronto Raptors

The Raptors have had some good players come through, but they generally haven't stayed too long. Vince Carter and Tracy McGrady come to mind, but neither of them stayed long enough to become the leader in threes for the franchise.

In the franchise's history Morris Peterson has made the most threes with 801, and for his career as a Raptor he shot 37.04 percent.

Utah Jazz

There really wasn't much question about who made the most three pointers in Jazz franchise history. One of the most durable players and arguably the best point guard in NBA history claims that for the Jazz in John Stockton.

The only player that could have been even in consideration was Jeff Hornacek, but Hornacek did not play his entire career with the Jazz. Based on longevity and the durability of Stockton there was no question it was Stockton.

Stockton made 845 threes for the Jazz, and he shot at 38.4 percent.

Washington Wizards

Gilbert Arenas leads the franchise in three pointers made, but I'm sure Antawn Jamison and Caron Butler aren't far behind. If Arenas is finally healthy he may put some distance between Jamison and Butler.

Arenas has made 758 threes for the Wizards franchise, and looking at the numbers, Jamison and Butler aren't even remotely close to catching Arenas.

In his time as a Wizard Arenas has shot 36.02 percent from three.

The quiz was very informative, but it didn't tell the whole story because when you look at players like Mookie Blaylock, Allen Iverson, Kobe Bryant, and Raymond Felton they attempt a lot of threes but don't make a high percentage of those threes.

It also taught me not to overlook certain things like the ability of certain players either being injured, traded, or signed elsewhere. Dale Ellis used to hold the record for most threes made in his career, but he isn't number one on any of the teams that he played for.

Also, in the article you learn that there's not just guards on the list. There's also some players with size, and not all of the leaders were even starters.

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