The San Antonio Spurs have made one thing abundantly clear with their 2021 free agency moves thus far: improved shooting is a priority.
After signing Doug McDermott from the Pacers and bringing back Bryn Forbes from Milwaukee, it's clear that the front office wanted to address the team's three-point shooting as quickly as possible. No doubt this was also a consideration when they selected two talented shooters in the draft in Josh Primo and Joe Wieskamp.
In 2020-21, the Spurs ranked dead last in the league in three-pointers made, three-pointers attempted, and ranked 24th in three-point percentage. With the way modern NBA offenses work, being able to field a team that can hit outside shots is an absolute necessity. The new additions to the roster should go a long way toward fixing that problem.
After knocking down 111 threes last season as a member of the Indiana Pacers, Doug McDermott got the call to head to San Antonio. Shooting 40.7 percent from three for his career, he already makes shots from outside the arc at a higher clip than anyone on the Spurs did last season (Rudy Gay was highest at 38.1 percent). As a player that makes his opponents respect his range and can move well without the ball, McDermott will look to free up a lot of opportunities for the young Spurs on offense.
One former and two current San Antonio Spurs players can go from good to great shooters
A newly crowned NBA champion with the Bucks, Bryn Forbes, will once again be donning the silver and black in the 2021-'22 season. While with Milwaukee, he became one of the best three-point snipers in the league, shooting a career-high 45 percent from three in the regular season and knocking down 33 shots from behind the arc in 20 playoff games.
After winning a championship, he'll likely be returning to San Antonio with a new aura of confidence that many players gain after reaching the basketball mountaintop. In the past, his defense had been a point of concern. But now that the Spurs command more talent on the defensive end of the floor, the team should be able to minimize Forbes' defensive limitations while maximizing his shooting prowess.
The team also already has two other key pieces to improving the team's outside shooting: Derrick White and Lonnie Walker. This feels like a year where Walker is set up to make a leap and reach the next level as a scorer if he's given more opportunities. If White can avoid the injury bug and stay on the court for most of the season, this duo will be a deadly one-two punch as they spearhead the Spurs' improved shooting from distance.