My how the center position has changed in the NBA in the last few years. What was once like seeing a solar eclipse, an NBA center shooting a three-pointer, is now encouraged, expected and in some cases demanded by many teams of their centers across the NBA.
I am not exactly sure when the trend started, it could have been when Channing Frye was near the top of the league in three-pointers his first season with the Suns in 2009-10, but the trend is everywhere now and centers such as Marc Gasol and Brook Lopez are legitimate threats and assets to space the floor and knock down the deep ball at an above average rate.
Nikola Vucevic is another center with some natural touch and a nice jump shot from 18 feet and less, but he has struggled to extend his range to the three-point arc.
After only taking 26 three-pointers in his first five NBA seasons, he has taken 73 this season but has not had the level of success as some of his counter parts, only shooting 28.8% this season.
He is vowing to change that this off-season.
Vucevic told Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel he wants that to become a more reliable part of his game moving forward:
“I took a big step this season shooting it,” Vucevic said. “But it’ll be something that I’ll work a lot on this summer because I saw that I could really make those. It just hasn’t been always consistent. But it’s definitely something I want to add to my game. I think it’s going to help myself a lot as well as the team.”
That is probably a savvy idea for Vucevic to evolve with the times, especially as a center that struggles on the defensive end, being able to become even more of an offensive weapon can counteract that.
The real question may be if he will be launching those three-pointers in an Orlando Magic uniform next season.