Off the Bench: Top Picks to Win the Sixth Man of the Year Award

Sixth Man of the Year Award 2024 image

📖 Published on: February 23rd, 2024

✍️ Updated: February 27th, 2024

⏳ 9 mins read


Teams always look for that player who’s willing to go off the bench and be a reliable spark plug whenever their main guys take a rest. The sixth man is a huge role that demands a lot from the best players – stepping in and making sure that they can bring the help that their team needs, and this season is no different as we have a tight race to consider once more.


What is the Sixth Man of the Year?


The Sixth Man of the Year is awarded in the NBA on an annual basis to the player with the most contributions and impact off the bench for their respective teams it says a lot about how the players are expected to give their respective teams a boost as a part of the second unit and provide the needed spark when the game goes out of their way. The league recognizes the efforts of these players with the John Havlicek Trophy, named after the legendary star and eight-time NBA champion.


For the best performing non-starter, it is meant to be an appreciation for their efforts to give their teams the advantage despite coming off the bench. A lot of notable names have won the said award, with Bill Walton and James Harden as the only winners to also win the MVP award. Other stars such as Toni Kukoc, Bobby Jones, Manu Ginobili, Kevin McHale, and many others have won the said award as well.


Jamal Crawford and Lou Williams are tied for the most wins of the Sixth Man of the Year. Their contributions off the bench have helped their respective teams come up with unwavering success, which is why they are recognized for their greatness despite taking the sacrifice to come off the bench.


Who is the Previous Sixth Man of the Year?


Malcolm Brodgon image


Malcolm Brodgon won the Sixth Man of the Year Award with the Boston Celtics in the previous season. He averaged 14.9 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 3.7 assists per game off the bench. He shot a staggering 48.4% from the field, including 44.4% from deep. He played a huge role in the Celtics’ chase for a playoff push in the season, including a near-comeback from an 0-3 deficit in the Eastern Conference Finals. He is now playing for the Portland Trail Blazers.


Who are the Top Picks to Win the Sixth Man of the Year This Season?


A lot of big names are in consideration for the Sixth Man of the Year award, and it goes without saying that these players have made a huge impact for their teams this year, with some of them leading their squads to a deep push in their conferences, which just further proves why they deserve to win the said award.


Here are the top picks for the Sixth Man of the Year:


Malik Monk


Malik Monk image


While the Sacramento Kings may be struggling, Malik Monk has stepped up well with his campaign for the team, bringing up career highs in almost every category. He is averaging 15.1 points, 5.3 assists, and 2.8 rebounds – including 44.9% shooting from the field and 37.5% from three. It cannot be denied that his spark off the bench has kept the Kings’ offense on par with almost any other contender in the league right now.

Monk was instrumental in their playoff push last season, and that seems to be the big reason why he has earned the sixth man spot with the Kings so far.

He may struggle for some games, but then Monk always steps up in the heat of the moment.


No one can forget that impressive game-winner he pulled off in a clash with the Golden State Warriors this season – including a defensive stop to prevent Stephen Curry from getting off a final shot.


Tim Hardaway Jr.


For the Dallas Mavericks to have a spark off the bench in a deadeye shooter in Tim Hardaway Jr. is a huge win to their already promising roster. Off the bench, Hardaway Jr. is averaging 17.3 points, 3.6 rebounds, and 1.7 assists, including 41.4% from the field and has drilled 36.5% from three. He has done an exceptional job to be a spark plug off the bench whenever Luka Doncic takes his rest.

So far, Hardaway has enjoyed some big games in the season, including a January 30 show where he scored 36 points without Luka against the Orlando Magic – drilling five of his nine threes, and shooting 11 for 17 overall.


Tim Hardaway Jr. image


His strong case for the Sixth Man of the Year shines bright so far with a promising performance, and that says a lot about his current pace with the Mavs as they continue to make a needed climb in the standings.


Norman Powell


Norman Powell image


There is no denying that Norman Powell has enjoyed a thriving role with the Los Angeles Clippers this season. With averages of 13.4 points and 2.5 rebounds while shooting 49.5% from the field and 45.3% from three, his consistency has helped the Clippers in times of need, especially when their star squad struggles to get their groove going. That makes it extra special when he’s able to come off the bench and deliver that impact too.

Consistency is his brand, and there is no doubt that he is doing a great job of helping the Clippers lock up that top seed. They started from being a team that is struggling to fit four All-Stars together in one club.


Now they are thriving – and Powell has done a great job to compliment his teammates in times of need, and now they are gunning for the Playoffs now more than ever.


Honorable Mention: Russell Westbrook


The sixth-man line is unclear in the Clippers, but if there’s someone who deserves a lot of credit for going off the bench, that would be Russell Westbrook. The star guard infamously asked his coach Tyronn Lue if he could go off the bench – making the big sacrifice to allow his co-stars Paul George, Kawhi Leonard, and James Harden to take center stage instead. And that has been one of the major reasons the Clips have been able to set this new groove.

Westbrook is averaging 11.4 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 4.6 assists per game while coming off the bench. He is providing that needed energy and playmaking for the second unit and usually comes into the closing lineup with the other stars.


Russell Westbrook image


It cannot be denied that Westbrook’s game may have declined a bit, but then his prowess in putting up impressive numbers night in and night out has proven to be a huge boost to the Clippers’ chances this season.


Honorable Mention: Jordan Clarkson


Jordan Clarkson image


Jordan Clarkson has already won the Sixth Man of the Year back in the 2020-21 season with the Jazz – the first and only Filipino to do so, and the sixth foreign player to win the award. He still has the same role with the Jazz in his fifth year with the team, and there is no doubt that he continues to improve his game and come up with strong production off the bench – just when their squad needs it most.

Firepower is Clarkson’s strong suit, and he is averaging 17.3 points, 4.8 assists, and 3.3 rebounds per game while shooting 41.5% from the field.


Scoring has been his bread and butter, but he’s lately expanding into playmaking and has improved his defense as well, making him a valuable talent off the bench for the Jazz as they try to push for a playoff spot in the second half of the season.


What to Expect in the Sixth Man Race This Season?


The Sixth Man race is definitely something to look forward to, and it cannot be denied that these players are doing all they can to step up and help their respective teams gain ground and keep grinding towards the playoffs. Many people will have doubts on their impact, but no one can take away the effort that they give night in and night out. Coming off the bench is no easy feat, and that is what makes them special.


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