Who will be named this season's Sixth Man of the Year?
Ahead of the 2020-21 NBA season, our NBA.com Staff reveals their picks for the end-of-season award.
Scott Rafferty (@crabdribbles): This is tough because there's a chance many of the leading candidates this season will be starters, such as Dennis Schröder and Tyler Herro.
With that in mind, Montrezl Harrell gets my vote.
Harrell could very well start for the Los Angeles Lakers, but I think Frank Vogel will roll with Marc Gasol because he's a smoother fit next to Anthony Davis. Harrell should still get a ton of minutes as Gasol's backup and should be highly productive playing next to Schröder and LeBron James.
Harrell won the award last season, so we know he's capable of it. He should also have plenty of motivation to play well with a player option in his contract for the 2021-22 season. After signing with the Lakers at a discount following a disappointing bubble, this is a great opportunity for him to increase his value in the hopes of signing a bigger contract next offseason, whether it's with the Lakers or a team with a greater need at centre.
Other players I gave consideration for this award: Norman Powell, Seth Curry, Lou Williams and Spencer Dinwiddie.
Kyle Irving (@KyleIrv_): I honestly believe he got snubbed for the award last year, so I'll take him this year - I'm going Dennis Schröder.
Averaging a career-high 18.9 points per game off of the bench for the Oklahoma City Thunder last season, Schröder established himself as one of the premier reserve scorers in the NBA. He played a huge role in the Thunder's unexpected success, terrorizing opposing teams' second units. Being traded to the Lakers this offseason, Schröder should be poised to take full reign of one of the league's best second units alongside reigning Sixth Man of the Year Montrezl Harrell.
We saw Harrell and Lou Williams dominate NBA benches as a tandem, and two of Lou Will's three Sixth Man of the Year trophies came from playing next to Harrell. I think Harrell can bring the same thing out of Schröder, who will get the first Sixth Man of the Year award of his career this season, assuming he comes off the bench in Los Angeles.
Benyam Kidane (@BenyamKidane): As Scott mentioned, we could see some new faces emerge as candidates for the award. That's why I think Spencer Dinwiddie is perfectly placed to take it home.
With Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant back in the fold, Dinwiddie, who started 49 of the Nets' 64 regular-season games in 2019-20, will likely revert back a bench role, one that he's excelled in seasons prior, but this season he'll be doing it on one of the best teams in the league.
In 2018-19, he finished fourth in voting for the award, with averages of 16.8 points and 4.6 assists in 28.1 minutes off the bench. Topping those numbers this season doesn't seem far-fetched.
Yash Matange (@yashmatange2694): I'm going with Jordan Clarkson.
After being acquired in December last season from Cleveland, the 6-foot-4 guard was a much-needed spark off the bench. In 42 games with the team, he averaged 15.6 points, 2.8 rebounds and 1.6 assists in just 24.7 minutes of court time.
In terms of offseason activity, the Jazz didn't make any major moves that would disrupt the current roster continuity. So it would be safe to expect the same explosive scoring from Clarkson.
Another reason I have Clarkson as a favourite is because I believe the Laker teammate duo of Dennis Schröder and Montrezl Harrell could split votes among themselves. Apart from those two, I'm not sure any other player has the situation or circumstances like Clarkson does.
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