The idea: Alter the position of the three-point line in NBA games to eliminate the ‘short-porch’ corner 3 point shot.
Why it makes sense: Since the introduction of the three-point arc in 1979, the triple has gone from something of a gimmick to the primary weapon in the NBA. The prevalence of 3-point shooting in today’s game has fundamentally transformed the make-up of modern NBA teams, as big-men and players with strong mid-range games have depreciated in value. In this sense, the game is becoming one-dimensional and predictable.
One cause of the triple’s prevalence is that it’s a relatively easy shot to make from the corners. The line at the corner is two feet close to the basket than it is from the curve of the arc – and this contrast in distance is reflected in the statistics. By adjusting the line in a way that would make the corner shot worth 2 rather than 3, there would likely be a decline in the frequency of long-range shooting, leading to more action in the post/paint.
Mark Cuban, the owner of the Dallas Mavericks, is probably the most high-profile supporter of moving the 3-point line:
It would open up play for more drives, guys with mid-range games will be rewarded and they would stay in the game, there would be more diversity of offensive action in the game. You’ll see a little bit of a decline in the three. More importantly, it promotes kids learning how to shoot mid-range instead of just bombing the threes, just because the court would be wider and more open.
Could it happen? While there’s certainly a growing appetite among fans of the game to reconsider the measurement of the 3-point line, the current NBA Commissioner, Adam Silver, has made it clear that he has no plans to move the line “anytime soon”. If, however, current trends continue, and NBA offenses grow even less diverse, eliminating the corner three could be seen as a viable proposal capable of enhancing the quality of the game – and the diversity of NBA rosters.
Likelihood of happening: 35% (Stranger things have happened).