Predicting participants for all-star three-point contest
With the D-League All-Star Game less than two weeks away, it’s time to make our predictions as to who will participate in the festivities, most notably the 3-Point Shootout.
Last year, Andre Ingram took home the honors as the 3-Point champion in the field of six that also included Omari Johnson, Nick Minnerath, Jimmer Fredette, Reggie Hearn, and Scott Suggs.
This year, there are several names who stand out as candidates for this year’s event.
Scott Wood, Santa Cruz Warriors
The knock-down shooter is currently ranked fifth overall in 3-point percentage this season (44.5), and head coach Casey Hill has said Wood is the best pure shooter he has ever coached in his career, so he has that going for him, which is nice.
Wood just set the franchise record last week for most three-pointers in a single game (11) with an incredible performance against the visiting Rio Grande Valley Vipers. He also leads the league in 3-pointers made this season (102).
Brady Heslip, Raptors 905
It can’t really be a 3-point contest without Heslip can it? The Baylor alum gained his notoriety while playing under David Arseneault’s system with the Reno Bighorns two seasons ago. Now as a member of the Raptors 905, Heslip is still at it as he’s ranked second in three’s made this season (101) while shooting over 42% from long distance.,
Heslip has also attempted more three-pointers than anyone else this season (237). Heslip, who did not win the shootout when he participated in 2014-15, would be a welcome addition to the field at this year’s event.
Kevin Murphy, Grand Rapids Drive
For those that need to know about the greatness that is Kevin Murphy, be sure to read Chris Reichert’s article detailing why he is a mercenary for hire from three-point range.
Murphy is shooting just over 40% from three-point range this season and is third overall in three-pointers made this season (93) behind Wood and Heslip.
He’s been sensational for Grand Rapids this season while playing alongside Ray McCallum and Jordan Crawford while carving out his own niche with the team.
Marcus Posley, Sioux Falls Skyforce
Let’s back up for a second here. Posley might not be a conventional pick, but he’s found success this year from long range. He’s only shooting 37% from three-point range. On a team with not too many great three-point shooters, Posley has helped to extend the floor for the Skyforce as they have dominated inside this year with the likes of Okaro White and Keith Benson.
Posley gives them an option to stretch the court as a threat from 3-point that has helped them out this year thus far.
Reggie Hearn, Reno Bighorns
Hearn competed in the three-point contest last year, and he should have an opportunity to compete this season for the Bighorns.
He has been one of the bright spots for the team this year, and while his three-point attempts aren’t at the volume of Wood or Heslip, he’s been very efficient from deep, shooting 47% on the year on 134 attempts this season.
Hearn has been a key player on the team and his numbers should increase with the absence of Lamar Patterson, who recently signed a 10-day contract with the Atlanta Hawks.
Abdel Nader, Maine Red Claws
I’m all in on Nader at this point in the season. The 6-foot-8 point forward has been exciting to watch this season for the Red Claws and the likely Rookie of the Year has been shooting nearly 40% on the year from long range.
Nader will likely be in the D-League All-Star game as well. He would be an intriguing pick to put in the event and would be a good place for Celtics fans to see what Nader may bring to the roster should he join them in training camp next season.