The “Sixers Six” is a series of top-six lists on a variety of Sixers topics, both past and present.
Today’s Sixers Six list ranks the top six three-point shooters in Sixers history. The three-point line was introduced into the NBA in 1979, but many saw it as a gimmick, rarely using it during the flow of the game. The Sixers were no exception, as they shot 109 threes as a team for the entirety of its 1982-83 championship season. The three-pointer was not a valuable shot for the Sixers franchise for a long time, so making a top-six list proved somewhat difficult, with a lack of longevity amongst the entire group. But in any case, here are the six greatest three-point shooters in Sixers history.
6) Robert Covington (2014-present)
– 204 games, 5,978 minutes
– 1,340 threes attempted, 474 threes made (35.4%); 60.9 3PAr
– 50.1 eFG%; 54.4 TS%; 1.5 OWS; .073 WS/48
RoCo checks in as the sixth greatest three-point shooter in Sixers history, shooting to what has amounted as league-average from deep in his three years in Philadelphia. While Covington has drastically improved in other areas, especially on defense, his three-point percentage has decreased each season (37%>35%>33%). The Sixers desperately need him to space the floor this season, so hopefully RoCo will have a bounce back year from downtown.
But even with his struggles from deep last season, Covington is still fifth in all-time three-pointers made in Sixers history and is about to pass Hersey Hawkins for fourth. Covington has always preferred to shoot his threes up top, as opposed to the corners (just 8% of his threes last year). He is deadliest from deep when he is found open in transition on the wing.
5) Jodie Meeks (2010-2012)
– 159 games, 3,939 minutes
– 664 threes attempted, 254 made (38.3%); 58.9 3PAr
– 53.2% eFG%; 57.8 TS%; 5.9 OWS; .120 WS/48
Meeks came out of relative obscurity to become a valuable contributor for the Sixers in the early 2010s. The team had acquired Meeks from Milwaukee in February 2010 to not much fan reaction. Yet Meeks was a big reason why the Sixers made consecutive playoff appearances in 2011 and 2012. He shot 39% and 37% from deep those two seasons at a time when floor spacing was drastically needed.
His greatest moment as a Sixer came when he made six three-pointers in the first quarter of a game against the Charlotte Bobcats in 2010.
4) Hollis Thompson (2013-2017)
– 256 games, 6,233 minutes
– 917 threes attempted, 357 made (38.9%); 52.3 3PAr
– 51.9% eFG%; 53.7 TS%; 3.6 OWS; .050 WS/48
The embodiment of The Process, Hollis Thompson checks in at #4 on my list. “Mr. 40%” made the team out of training camp in the infancy of the current Sixers regime, dialing in from distance on some bad basketball teams.
I wrote last year how Hollis quietly shot his way into Sixers history when he joined the top 10 made three-pointers list in Sixers history. Before being waived in January 2017, Hollis was seventh in made three-pointers and fifth in 3P%. Not much for a total unknown back in 2013.
3) Hersey Hawkins (1988-1993)
– 404 games, 14,533 minutes
– 1,172 threes attempted, 476 made (40.6%); 20.7 3PAr
– 50.6% eFG%; 57.7 TS%; 26.8 OWS; .126 WS/48
Hawkins was ahead of his time when it came to shooting three-pointers back in the late-80s. Acquired on Draft Night in 1988, Hawkins became a quality compliment to franchise superstar Charles Barkley. Hawkins shot 40.6% from deep over five seasons in Philadelphia when the league average those years was just 32.8%.
With a beautiful shooting stroke, Hawkins helped the Sixers to three straight playoff appearances from 1989 to 1991, where he was also an All-Star in 1991. “Hawk” was traded to the Charlotte Hornets in 1993 for the next man on the list.
2) Dana Barros (1993-1995)
– 163 games, 5,837 minutes
– 779 threes attempted, 332 made (42.6%); 38.1 3PAr
– 56.2% eFG%; 60.6 TS%; 14.3 OWS; .143 WS/48
When the Sixers traded Hawkins to Charlotte, they received 5’11 guard Dana Barros in return. While his play did not help the Sixers in the win column, Barros put up some pretty impressive numbers in his two years in Philadelphia. He shot 38% from three his first year before leading the league the following year shooting a ridiculous 46.4%. In just two seasons, Barros accumulated over 14 Offensive Win Shares while also winning the Most Improved Player Award and being named an All-Star in 1995. His 1994-1995 season is still one of the more underrated campaigns in Sixers history.
1) Kyle Korver (2003-2008)
– 337 games, 9,057 minutes
– 1,618 threes attempted, 661 made (40.9%); 55.4 3PAr
– 53.2% eFG%; 56.3 TS%; 10.1 OWS; .095 WS/48
There’s Ray Allen, Reggie Miller, and then there’s Kyle Korver.
Who would have known that one of the greatest three-point shooters ever would have been sold for $125,000 on Draft Night. The Nets had drafted Korver with the 51st pick by the New Jersey Nets in the 2003 but traded him to Philadelphia to pay for summer league and a copier machine.
Korver was lights out from distance during his four and a half seasons as a Sixer, shooting 40.9% from three. He quickly established himself as one of the best young three-point shooters in the game. Yet in 2008, the Sixers dealt him to the Utah Jazz for Gordan Giricek and a conditional first round pick. The rationale was that Giricek would come off the books at the end of the year and that the Sixers would have some extra cap space to spend the following summer (which they used, spending $82 million on Elton Brand).
Giricek played just 12 games as a Sixer, the first-round pick was traded for nothing, and Brand played 246 of a possible 328 games (75%) in first Sixers tenure. Korver, meanwhile is still going strong at age 36, adding more and more three pointers to his resume every year (currently fifth all-time). Korver made 661 threes in his Sixers career and has gone on to make 1,388 over the past decade playing for the Jazz, Bulls, Hawks, and Cavaliers.
What is crazy about Korver is that he shot 40.9% from three with the Sixers (2nd in team history behind Barros), yet that is the lowest percentage in his career:
Utah Jazz: 41.6%
Chicago Bulls: 42.5%
Atlanta Hawks: 45.2%
Cleveland Cavaliers: 48.5%
The man is a truly amazing three-point shooter, and while Philadelphia might have been his worst stop in the NBA, he’s still the greatest to ever do it in a Sixers uniform. Barros may have been better for a shorter time, but Korver is an all-time great and is deserving of being the greatest three-point shooter in Sixers history.
My favorite Kyle Korver Sixers moment: His game-tying three pointer to send Sixers-Celtics into a third OT in January 2006.
Special Mention: Allen Iverson (1996-2006; 2009-2010)
– 717 games, 29,879 minutes
– 2,864 threes attempted, 885 made (30.9%); 17.3 3PAr
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the Sixers’ all-time leading three-point shooter, Allen Iverson, with 885 made three pointers during his time in Philadelphia. But AI doesn’t crack the top-six because he was largely ineffective shooting the three, with over 1,000 more three-point attempts than the next player in team history. He shot just 30.9% from deep in his Sixers career, and just 32% in his MVP season (2000-2001). Iverson was much effective getting to the basket and in the mid-range than he was behind the arc. Iverson was great at many things on a basketball court, but shooting threes at an decent clip was not one of them.