The 2019-20 NBA Sixth Man Award was won by LA Clippers’ Montrezl Harrell. Will he continue to shine off the bench with his new team, the LA Lakers, or will another star in waiting take the title this year? We look at the top five contenders to win the NBA's Sixth Man of the Year award for the 2020-21 NBA season.
Every year, the sixth man of the year award is given to the best performing NBA reserve player. In a star-studded Clippers lineup featuring Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, Montrezl Harrell provided some crucial contributions coming off the bench and registered his career-best numbers.
This year, there are a number of players who will be competing with Harrell for the NBA Sixth Man of the Year award, including these top five contenders who are expected to contribute throughout the season by coming off the bench for their teams.
Top 5 contenders to win the Sixth Man of the Year | NBA 2020-21
No. 1 - Lou Williams
Another LA Clippers player who had to star from a bench role during the 2019-20 NBA season, Lou Williams ended up registering 18.2 points per game. This was combined with his career-best averages of 3.1 rebounds and 5.6 assists per game.
With the acquisition of Serge Ibaka, who has been starting in the LA Clippers’ initial few games of the NBA 2020-21 season, Lou Williams will need to continue to be instrumental in the Clippers’ championship charge. If that happens, he could end up winning the NBA Sixth Man of the Year award for the fourth time in his career.
No. 2 - Jordan Clarkson
Jordan Clarkson will start the 2020-21 NBA season for the Utah Jazz behind the duo of Mike Conley Jr. and Donovan Mitchell, and is expected to improve on his off-the-bench performances from last season. In the 2019-20 NBA season, Jordan Clarkson averaged 15.6 points and 0.7 steals per game and had a career-high shooting percentage of 46.2%.
This time around, with Utah Jazz having an largely unchanged roster, Jordan Clarkson will again be expected to provide some much-needed support from the bench. While it might be a bit early to comment upon his chances for the NBA Sixth Man of the Year award, he currently looks to be one of the frontrunners for it this season.
No. 3 - Goran Dragic
The Slovenia native is expected to come up with crucial contributions from the bench for the Miami Heat. Dragic is coming off a solid season as a reserve in which he averaged 16.2 points, 5.1 assists and 3.2 rebounds per game.
Dragic is a good overall point guard who can contribute on both ends of the court – he's posted five steals in his first two games this season – though whether he can match his overall productivity from last year for the Miami Heat remains to be seem.
No. 4 - Montrezl Harrell
Winning consecutive Sixth Man of the Year awards is quite rare – only Kevin McHale (Boston 84-85), Detlef Schrempf (Indiana 91-92) and Lou Williams (LA Clippers 18-19) have accomplished that feat. But after his trade to the crosstown rivals, Harrell will no doubt still be coming off the bench in a star-studded LA Lakers lineup. One of the most interesting comparisons this season will be Harrell's numbers off the bench for the Lakers compared to the numbers generated by Lou Williams in a reserve role for the Clippers.
Montrezl Harrel posted career best numbers of 18.6 points and 7.1 rebounds last time around, and will be looking to emulate his former teammate Lou Williams in winning the NBA Sixth Man of the Year award for a second consecutive season, albeit with different teams.
No. 5 - Dāvis Bertāns
Dāvis Bertāns makes this list after he posted much-improved numbers coming off the bench for the Washington Wizards last season. This time around, the Wizards will be expecting to push for a championship spot with their key acquisition of nine-time NBA All-Star and 2017 NBA MVP Russell Westbrook.
In the 2019-20 NBA season, Dāvis Bertāns posted career high numbers of 15.4 points, 0.6 blocks, 0.7 steals, 4.5 rebounds and 1.7 assists per game. This time around, he will in all probability be reduced to a bench role, which in turn gives him an opportunity to contend for the NBA Sixth Man of the Year award.Published 28 Dec 2020, 03:23 IST