The NBA Sixth Man of the Year award is given to the league’s top performing player coming off the bench for a particular NBA season. To be eligible for the award, a particular player must come off the bench more times than he starts during a season. The winner is voted upon by a panel composed of US and Canada broadcasters and journalists.
Since the inception of the award, a total of 30 players have won it. Sixers’ forward Bobby Jones was the inaugural winner of the award in 1982-83. Lou Williams of the Los Angeles Clippers is the current winner. Williams and Jamal Crawford are the only player to have won the award three times. Detlef Schrempf, Kevin McHale and Ricky Pierce have won the award twice. McHale, Jones and Bill Walton are the only winners of this award to be elected to the Hall of Fame. Only Walton and James Harden are the 6th Man winners to also win the NBA MVP award.
This year, Lou Williams is the clear-cut NBA betting favorite to win the award for the third straight season and a fourth time overall. The Clippers’ guard is only 32 years old and is coming off the second 20-point season of his career.
Here are the odds to win the 2019-20 NBA Sixth Man of the Year award. These odds were taken from MyBookie as of 10/15/19:
Who Are the Favorites?
Lou Williams is the reigning Sixth Man of the Year winner and he has won this award in back to back seasons and three times overall. The 32-year old was the Philadelphia 76ers’ 435th overall pick in 2005 straight from high school Sweet Lou has started just 110 out of 936 NBA games played. Despite that, he has a 14.2 points per game career average. In his last two seasons with the Clippers, Williams is averaging a 21.3 points per game despite playing just 29.8 minutes per game and starting just 20 games for the Clippers. Last season, Williams averaged 20.0 points per game while playing 26.6 minutes per game for the Clippers.
Spencer Dinwiddie was the Detroit Pistons’ 38th overall pick in 2014. After playing his first three seasons for the Pistons, Dinwiddie signed with the Brooklyn Nets in 2016. Dinwiddie has a solid 2017-18 season where he averaged 12.8 points per game while starting 58 out of 80 games played. Last season, he had his breakout year. Dinwiddie averaged 17.2 points per game and had a 59.8% true shooting percentage. He was a huge part of the Nets’ success before he injured his thumb and missed a significant number of games. With Kevin Durant unable to play this season with an Achilles injury, the Nets will look for Dinwiddie to provide scoring.
Montrezl Harrell was a finalist for the 2019 Sixth Man of the Year award along with Clippers’ teammate Lou Williams ( the eventual winner ) and Domantas Sabonis of the Indiana Pacers. The 6-8 Harrell is an undersized power forward who was the Houston Rockets’ 32nd overall pick in 2015. The Clippers acquired Harrell in the Chris Paul trade and last season, he had his best year ever. Harrell averaged 16.6 points, 6.5 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.3 blocks per game last season. He and Lou Williams were a key part of the Clippers and will continue to be such this season despite the arrival of Kawhi Leonard and Paul George.
Terence Ross was the Toronto Raptors’ 8th overall pick in 2012. He was a big part of the Raptors’ bench until he involved in the Serge Ibaka trade in 2017. Ross played just 24 games during the 2017-18 season with an MCL injury and a non-displaced fracture of his right tibial plateau. He returned to action last season and played 81 games, all off the bench. Ross averaged a career-high 15.1 points per game last season and shot a personal best .875 from the foul line. With Orlando choosing to retain their 2018-19 lineup, Ross is expected to play the same role.
Eric Gordon was the Sixth Man of the Year winner in 2017. Gordon was the 7th overall pick of the 2008 NBA Draft by the Los Angeles Clippers. The 2017 NBA three-point shootout winner also played for the New Orleans Pelicans before signing with the Houston Rockets in 2016. Gordon has been the Rockets’ 6th Man since his arrival in Space City but despite that, he has been averaging over 30 minutes per game per season in Houston. Gordon played alongside James Harden and Chris Paul last season so the Harden-Westbrook duo this year won’t be an issue for Gordon.
No player in the history of the NBA has won the Sixth Man of the Year in three straight season nor has anyone won it four times during the course of his NBA career. Well, Lou Williams might just change that this season.
Williams won the 2018-19 Sixth Man of the Year award, his second straight win and third overall. He became only the second player since Detlef Schrempf in 1992 and 1992 to win the award in back to back seasons. Williams and Jamal Crawford are the only three-time winners of the award.
Sweet Lou is only 32 years old and based on what we saw last season, he is showing no signs of slowing down. Williams averaged 20.0 points per game last season and he only started one of 75 games played. During the 2017-18 season, Williams averaged a career-high 22.6 points per game, his best scoring average ever.
This year, the Clippers have a new identity with Kawhi Leonard and Paul George added to the team during the summer. Knowing the injury history of both superstar players, Doc Rivers will surely restrict their minutes until the playoffs. Under that possible load management plan, Lou Williams will surely play a big part in the Clippers offense and that should make him a top choice to win the 2019-20 Sixth Man of the Year award.
Prediction: Lou Williams