11:41am: The NBA has released the ballot of each of media member who voted, in keeping with a transparency practice that began last year.
11:14am: Soon-to-be free agent Lou Williams has won this year’s Sixth Man of the Year award, the league announced via press release and on Twitter. Isaiah Thomas, whom the Suns signed to a four-year deal last summer and dealt at the deadline to the Celtics, finished second, with last year’s winner, Clippers guard Jamal Crawford, coming in third.
Williams finally looked back to his normal self this season for the first time since tearing his right ACL in January 2013. He was a strong fit for the Raptors despite the presence of fellow guards Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan, affirming GM Masai Ujiri‘s decision to absorb Williams’ salary in a swap with the Hawks just before the 2013/14 season officially ended last June. The 28-year-old Williams, who made $5.45MM this year, averaged a career-high 15.5 points in just 25.2 minutes per game.
Williams, a Leon Rose client, will look to further boost his stock in the postseason. He’s expressed a preference to return to Toronto, and the team will have his Bird rights. He won the award by a fairly wide margin, garnering 78 first-place votes to 33 for Thomas and topping Thomas 502-324 in total points. Media members cast the ballots, and the NBA assigned five points for each first place vote, three for a second-place vote and one for a third-place vote. Crawford, Andre Iguodala, Nikola Mirotic, Marreese Speights, Corey Brewer and Taj Gibson were the others who drew first-place votes.