Poll: Sixth Man Of The Year Race

The NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year award has been Lou Williams‘ to lose in recent years. Williams has earned Sixth Man honors twice in a row and three times overall in the past five seasons.

Williams is a strong candidate for Sixth Man of the Year once again in 2019/20, leading all bench scorers with 19.1 PPG in 55 games. However, his scoring numbers aren’t quite as gaudy as they’ve been in past seasons, and his .414 FG% and .351 3PT% represent his lowest marks since the 2015/16 season. On top of that, if there’s any voter fatigue with the Clippers guard this spring, there are several other viable candidates to choose from.

One is another Clipper, Montrezl Harrell, who has nearly matched Williams’ scoring rate this season. In 57 games, Harrell has posted new career highs in PPG (18.6) and RPG (7.0), and if L.A. uses a center in crunch time, it’s Harrell rather than starter Ivica Zubac. Harrell isn’t the league’s most talented rebounder or rim protector, and centers with size can give him problems, but he has arguably been the NBA’s most productive backup big man this season.

The other contender for that title would be Davis Bertans, who has had a breakout year playing at the four and five for the Wizards. Always a strong three-point shooter, Bertans has maintained an impressive .421 3PT% in 2019/20 while nearly doubling his previous career high in three-point attempts per game, from 4.4 to 8.4. He has been a crucial floor-spacer and scorer (15.0 PPG) for Washington on offense and has held his own on defense.

In Oklahoma City, meanwhile, the Thunder have an All-Star point guard (Chris Paul) and a second point guard who received All-Star consideration (Shai Gilgeous-Alexander), meaning the team’s third point guard, Dennis Schroder, has flown somewhat under the radar. Schroder has been better than ever this season though, with 19.1 PPG off the bench to go along with 4.1 APG and 3.8 RPG. His shooting rates of 47.3% from the floor and 38.6% from beyond the arc are both career bests, and the team has a +6.6 net rating when he plays, compared to a -3.1 mark when he sits.

Finally, Zach Harper of The Athletic wrote today that his current pick for Sixth Man of the Year would be Pistons guard Derrick Rose. The former MVP has missed a little time due to injuries, and Detroit isn’t a playoff team, which hurts his case. However, Rose has been arguably the Pistons’ best player this season, with 18.0 PPG and 5.7 APG, and he has produced consistently despite a ton of roster upheaval, Harper notes.

One other issue with Rose’s case is that he has been a starter since mid-January, which isn’t likely to change going forward. If he starts the Pistons’ remaining 22 games, Rose would end up with 35 starts and 35 games off the bench, making him ineligible. I expect he’ll miss at least one game before the season ends, but if he ends up with 30+ starts, voters may not view him as a true “sixth man.”

There are a few other candidates who I believe should receive Sixth Man of the Year consideration, including Heat guard Goran Dragic, Jazz guard Jordan Clarkson, and even Lakers center Dwight Howard. But Williams, Harrell, Bertans, Schroder, and Rose look to me like the favorites at this point.

In today’s poll, we want to know what you think. If you had to place a Sixth Man of the Year vote today, would you pick Williams for the three-peat? Or do you think one of his challengers has a stronger case?

Vote below our poll, then head to the comment section to share your thoughts!

Trade Rumors app users, click here to vote.

newest oldest

23 thoughts on “Poll: Sixth Man Of The Year Race

  1. stevep-4

    In many games this year the Sixth Man of the Year would be the officiating team.

  2. Give it to Montrezl Harrell or Denis Schroder

    Also think Serge Ibaka, Marcus Smart, Grant Hill and Bogdan Bogdanovic should get mentions.

      • x%sure

        Lou Williams will fall way down the list.
        1) all the quality candidates listed by Luke and Tazza.
        2) “voter fatigue”
        3) LW is no longer as crucial on a loaded team, nor as effective or automatic or graceful. Seems like he has to really try now, and is obliged to score, rather than he just can’t help but do so.
        4) LW does have flaws to pick at. He does avg 9a pg but can be oblivious.

        I would go with Davis Bertans who has picked up that “I can’t help myself” manner.

    • 123Redsox

      Bogdonovic has no place in this conversation with his 14.5 ppg 3.1 apg 3.1 rpg .. smart has started 33 of 47 games and is on track to meet starters criteria… Ibaka only needs 17 more starts to meet starters criteria too… and george hill with his 9.6 ppg 2.9 APG and 2.9 RPG has no business in this conversation either

      • That’s your personal opinion but Bogi with 14.5/3.1/3.1 is definitely in the conversation.

        Lou Will won 6th man of the year last year with stat line of 20/5.4/3. Harrell was third in voting with 16.6/6.6/2.
        Yes Lou and Harrell had better numbers obviously but Bogi deserves to be in the convocation.

        As for Ibaka he’s played in 47 and started in only 24 and a big part in that was Siakim being injured for 11 games. Now that he’s fit I doubt he starts more than 10 games out of the remaining 24 games for the raptors.
        Btw Ibaka is averaging 16/8/1.3 which are better numbers than Harrell when he finished 3rd

    • Luke Adams

      Ibaka, Smart, and Bogdanovic are trending toward starting too much, which is why I didn’t mention them. Hill is a fine candidate, though I think it’s pretty rare for a player averaging less than 10 PPG to get serious consideration for the award. (Not saying that’s fair, but Sixth Man voters generally tend to favor good scoring numbers).

  3. Terrodan01720

    Dennis Schroeder is my vote he has been so good for okc this season and efficient Trez is second and lou will and Clarkson competing for third

      • AndreTheGiantKiller

        Clarkson is actually averaging over 15 PPG this season and 16 with Utah. He’s playing 5+ fewer minutes than most of the others. He definitely deserves to be in the running.6th man doesn’t just mean somebody who put up the most PPG cuz they gets starter minutes off the bench.

  4. El Don

    Has to be Montrezl Harrell.
    The other 2 finalist would be DeAndre Jordan & Dennis Schroeder.

  5. Voter fatigue probably prevents Lou Williams from having a shot at winning it and I wouldn’t be surprised if Harrell and Lou split some 6th man votes (even though Harrell is the more valuable of the two imo). Assuming health and continued production my guess would be Harrell, Schroder, Lou/Clarkson.

    • 123Redsox

      Clarkson is averaging 14.6 2.4 and 2.4… he has no business in this conversation

  6. How is George Hill not in this poll and article? He’s the league’s best 3P shooter.

    • 123Redsox

      On only 3 attempts per game. And he is only averaging 9.6 points 2.9 apg and 2.9 rpg

      • Fred VanVleet finished 3rd in the voting 2 years ago with worse stats across the board than Hill

  7. Serge Ibaka with 16/8/1.3 should win it.
    That Raptors team have been awesome and will pressure the Bucks all the way.
    Harrell finished 3rd last year in voting with 16.6/6.5/2
    The last big man to win the award was Lamar Odom in 2010/11 with 14.4/8.7/3 while playing 5 more minutes per game than Ibaka is now

  8. ZacharyH

    Voter fatigue is garbage. Nevertheless I like harrell because he has the most meaningful impact. #2 Lou williams #3shroeder #4 rose #5 Bogi #6 bertans #7 Jordan

  9. Alphabet Street

    Glad to see Schroder leading the poll, as he’s the obvious choice unless something bizarre happens over the homestretch.

    Not only is Schroder excelling at counting stats on good efficiency, but OKC is over performing expectations by a good margin and he has the highest +/- on the team.

    Harrell, Ibaka, Rose and Dragic are producing at a level that would make them reasonable choices in most seasons, but Schroder is having the best 6th-man year the NBA has seen in quite a while.

    That said, there’s something silly about the 6MOY award, as the idea that a player coming off the bench creates a new category doesn’t make much sense. Sooner or later, an NBA team will do what a number of Euroleague and World Cup/Olympics teams have in recent years, and bring a legit MVP candidate off the bench (but play him the same minutes as starters), rendering this award more-or-less moot. In fact, if there wasn’t a “stigma” of sorts associated with coming off the bench, HOU would probably be better served bringing Westbrook in with the second unit so he can play his natural high-usage game without taking away from Harden’s effectiveness. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to imagine a player who won the MVP a couple of seasons ago (in a horrible selection, but still…) accepting that role in today’s league. All it will take to change how starting/coming off the bench is perceived will be one legit star player who embraces a 6th-man role (with starter minutes) as simply a strategic move that keeps his team’s second unit from falling off and lets him play a more aggressive, higher-usage role going up against second-string defenders for a greater portion of the game than would be otherwise possible.

Leave a Reply