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Kevin Durant working out with some of the NBA’s worst volume three-point shooters

He is a dominant shooter. They are not. So it makes sense that they would seize the opportunity to learn from one of the NBA’s greatest.

2023 NBA Playoffs - Denver Nuggets v Phoenix Suns Photo by Barry Gossage/NBAE via Getty Images

You know who he is. He’s Kevin Durant.

And right now, everyone wants an opportunity to work out with the Phoenix Suns’ forward. Why wouldn’t you? As one of the elite scorers not only in the NBA but in NBA history, an opportunity to train by his side could provide invaluable and unquantifiable experience. A 13-time All-Star, 4-time scoring champion, 10-time All-NBA player, and 2-time champion. Durant is highly respect by the basketball community for his dedication to his craft, and he has no issue sharing his passion.

For young players in the NBA, their teams, and their fan bases, it’s something to be excited about. When news spreads that your young star is putting the work in during late-July with someone as lethal as KD, your ears perk up. Durant has been known to spend his summers working out with however wants to hoop. It’s in his DNA. The guy lives to go to the gym.

We are beginning to see some of the players who Kevin Durant is spending his offseason time with, and when you dig into who, a trend appears.

This past weekend he was playing with 21-year old Houston Rocket’s guard Jalen Green. Green, who was the 2nd overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft, is coming off a year in which he scored 22.1 points in his 76 games — all starts — for the Rockets. The team ended 22-60, missing the playoffs for the fourth consecutive season.

22.1 points is nice from a young player (Devin Booker averaged 22.1 points when he was in his second season, just as Green did), but Jalen’s 41.6 FG% was 11th worst in the league for any player who attempted 10.5 field goals or more. His 33.8 3PT% was 6th worst for an player who attempted 7 or more three-pointers per game.

The player with the 3rd worst three-point percentage on 7 or more attempts? It’s a name we know well in Phoenix, as prior to the KD acquisition, it was a name the fan base was clamoring to obtain. The Washington Wizards’ Kyle Kuzma.

Kuzma shot 33.3% last season from three on 7.5 attempts.

Kyle was present at the workout with Jalen Green and Kevin Durant last weekend as well, and while it’s there is no video of the three working on the three-ball, it’s safe to assume that was on the docket for training.


Because one day later, Kevin Durant was seen working out with another notoriously bad volume three-point shooter. Jordan Poole, who is now in Washington after being traded for former-Sun Chris Paul, shot 7.8 three-pointers per game last season with the Golden State Warriors. His 33.6% is fifth worst amongst those who shot 7 or more.

Poole will have plenty of opportunity to hoist the three-ball in Washington after the team shipped their second all-time leading scorer and all-time leader in three-point attempts, Bradley Beal, to the Suns. It will be open season for Poole to shoot. So why not train with one of the best shooters on the planet?

Next on the “KD Helping Bad Shooters” tour was time spent with former #1 overall pick Paolo Banchero. Banchero, who won the 2023 Rookie of the Year award, averaged 20 points a night with the Orlando Magic this season. 35% of his shots came from beyond the arc, but only 17.7% of his total points. He shot 29.8% from deep on 4 attempts per night.

If you watch the video taken, it’s exactly what Banchero and Durant were working on. Note the way Durant is observing Paolo’s footwork.

Banchero is the player who has replaced Durant on a very prestigious list of mine. It’s the “my favorite player who isn’t on the Suns” list, which Durant has owned since Allen Iverson fell off. Granted, Mikal Bridges is an exception — I will always route for him — but Banchero is something special and I look forward to rooting for him from afar. And who know? Maybe one day he’ll be a Sun, just like Durant.

The latest player to be seen working out with KD was the 11th pick in the 2020 Draft, San Antonio Spurs’ wing Devin Vassell.

This one doesn’t fit the narrative of bad shooter learning alongside Durant, as Vassell shot 38.7% on 7.0 three-attempts per game last season. That being said, he did shoot 48% from two-point last season, which was 9th worst amongst players who attempted 15 or more shots last season. With Victor Wembanyama joining the team, open shots should be in Vassell’s future, so he’s getting prepared for them.

The fact that Kevin Durant spends his summer working out with players is something that will forever add to his greatest after his playing days are over. His willingness to work on his game with others, surely while teaching them some of his techniques, solidifies his status as one of the greats. Not with the media or the fans, but with his fellow players.

KD. Greatness defined by actions.

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