De’Aaron Fox Receives Inaugural Clutch Player Award

Kings guard De’Aaron Fox has been named the inaugural recipient of the NBA’s Clutch Player of the Year award, Shams Charania of The Athletic tweets.

Fox topped the other finalists, the Bulls’ DeMar DeRozan and the Heat’s Jimmy Butler. The award is named after Hall of Famer and Lakers legend Jerry West.

Fox received 91 of 100 first-place votes. according to an NBA press release. He finished with a total of 460 points, far ahead of runner-up Butler, who garnered one first-place votes and 104 points. DeRozan didn’t have any first-place votes while placing third with 77 points. Seven other players received first-place votes but the Warriors’ Stephen Curry was the only one in that group to get two first-place votes.

“When I took the job I didn’t know how consistently he would be in the clutch,” Sacramento coach Mike Brown said of Fox, per’s Shaun Powell.

Fox led the league in clutch scoring with a league-best 194 points in 39 games. Clutch time is defined as minutes when the scoring margin is within five points with five or fewer minutes remaining in a game.

Fox shot 52.9 percent from the field and 86.0 percent from the foul line in those situations. He added 20 assists and 10 steals as Sacramento went 22-17 in those close games. That helped the Kings secure the third seed in the Western Conference playoffs.

DeRozan scored 159 points in 33 games in those situations. He shot 47.1 percent from the field and 89 percent from the foul line while grabbing 30 rebounds and dishing out 16 assists.

Butler also found himself in 33 of those games and scored 151 points. He shot 50.5 percent from the field and 79.1 percent from the free throw line. He added 32 rebounds, 19 assists, six steals and five blocks.

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