Richard Jefferson says he’s taking Klay Thompson over Stephen Curry if he needed a ‘set shot’ with his life on the line

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Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Former NBA player and current NBA analyst Richard Jefferson had an interesting take about who he would rather shoot for his life between Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson.

Obviously, Curry and Thompson are two of the greatest shooters in NBA history, but Jefferson may have a different pick than most when it comes to the Golden State Warriors sharpshooters.

Jefferson revealed on the Road Trippin’ podcast that he would rather take Thompson for the shot, if it was just a catch-and-shoot or set shot situation.

“If I had to say set shot, I would let Klay shoot for my life before Steph,” Jefferson said. “If we’re just talking about set shot. Swing, swing, catch, shoot – I might let Klay shoot. Off the dribble that’s not a question. Off the move, that’s not a question. I’m talking about pure feet set catch-and-shoot.”

Curry, who holds the record for the most 3-pointers made in the history of the NBA, is a career 42.8 percent shooter from beyond the arc. Thompson, his counterpart, has a career 3-point percentage of 41.5 percent.

Both players are elite at their craft, but Jefferson may be selling Curry a bit short with his catch-and-shoot ability.

Since the 2022-23 season has a small sample size so far, one way to look at this is at the 2021-22 season. Curry shot 39.5 percent on 5.2 attempts per game that were considered “catch-and-shoot.”

Thompson, on the other hand, shot just 36.3 percent from the field on catch-and-shoot attempts, taking 7.5 per game.

The argument for Curry gets even stronger when you simply look at 3-point shots. On 5.0 shots from beyond the arc per game that were considered catch-and-shoot last season, Curry shot 39.0 percent from deep. Thompson was just 36.4 percent from deep on 6.5 attempts per game.

Curry’s advantage becomes even bigger in straight up catch-and-shoot situations when one goes back to the 2018-19 season, before Thompson dealt with two major leg injuries.

In that season, Curry shot 44.6 percent from beyond the arc on his catch-and-shoot attempts from beyond the arc. Thompson was 40.5 percent from beyond the arc on his catch-and-shoot shots.

While two seasons don’t tell the full scope of their careers, Curry has the all-time record for 3-pointers made for a reason. He may take more off the dribble shots than Thompson, but he can still go head-to-head with his teammate when he’s simply scoring off the catch as well.

Jefferson’s pick certainly could ignite a fun debate between basketball players and fans on who they would rather have take the shot.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.