Top 10 NBA Sixth Man of the Year Candidates
Top 10 NBA Sixth Man of the Year Candidates
Even though the NBA regular season just began, it is never too early to predict what players will be in the running for an award at the end of the season. Obviously, the Most Valuable Player and Defensive Player of the Year are the most talked about awards. However, one honor that is always right up there is the NBA Sixth Man of the Year.
There are several talented candidates who will be a part of the conversation right up until the end of the season. Some of the candidates will be players who ranked in the top five last year, such as J.R. Smith who finished first in 2012-13. Meanwhile, there will be a couple of players fans did not expect to see on the list, or rank where they do.
At this point, it is all speculation. There are some players that are going to be in talks for the award that no one thought would be a top candidate. On the other hand, injuries to certain players who are considered favorites will play a role in the outcome.
Of course, the players are not thinking about awards at this point in the season because they are too busy figuring out what they can do to help their team win. Not to mention, there is a long way to go before any award talk can be discussed on a realistic level.
For now, fans can sit back and watch the season unfold while taking notes on who might accomplish what. Make sure to click through the slideshow to see the top 10 candidates for the NBA Sixth Man of the Year Award in 2013-14.
10. Manu Ginobili
Everyone knew Manu Ginobili’s name would appear somewhere in the slideshow, it was just a matter of what rank he would receive. It is somewhat crazy to believe they he could fall out of the top 10 voting this season, but his age is certainly catching up with him. Ginobili’s numbers have dropped drastically over the past two years while his performance in the postseason was not ideal. I fully expect the veteran to still be a huge factor as a sixth man. However, he will not appear as one of the best in the league.
9. Nate Robinson
Nate Robinson has made a living over the years as a stellar sixth man for several contenders, which is exactly what the Denver Nuggets had in mind when they signed him in the offseason. The reason why he is not ranked higher on the list is because of the impressive roster the Nuggets will showcase in 2013-14. Robinson simply will not see the same amount of minutes he has become accustom to, which could make him a less productive player. I still believe he will have an impact for Denver, but it is unknown where that will rank among the other players in the league.
8. Ryan Anderson
Ryan Anderson is one two players from the New Orleans Pelicans to crack the top 10 list. The veteran is typically in the conversation for Sixth Man of the Year as he finished fifth in the voting last season. His numbers dropped in some categories but he did manage to record career highs in points (16.2) and assists (1.2) per game. What sets him apart from the rest of the pack is his superior ability to convert shots from 3-point range. With the newly acquired talent on the Pelicans, Anderson’s threat from downtown could make the team a fun one to watch.
7. Isaiah Thomas
Isaiah Thomas had an outstanding sophomore season in the NBA in 2012-13. His shot percentage did drop but that was because he attempted more shots. He still is a huge threat from anywhere on the court, especially from beyond the arc. Thomas is still a little ways away from being mentioned as a top sixth man in the league. However, I fully expect his name to climb the ranks this season. Thomas will get plenty of time with the starters, but his main responsibility will be to produce off the bench.
6. Danny Granger
It is a difficult decision to have Danny Granger on the list because there is a good chance he will be a starter when he is healthy enough to return to the lineup. With that being said, there are some who believe, me included, that Granger would be better suited as the sixth man on the team. The reason is because the Indiana Pacers desperately need bench scoring and Granger is the best bet to give them that. If the Pacers do decide to put Granger in the starting lineup then do not be surprised if Lance Stephenson is mentioned as a Sixth Man of the Year candidate.
5. J.R. Smith
How the mighty have fallen. J.R. Smith is the reigning Sixth Man of the Year, which means he should still be in the conversation when it is all said and done this season. I can picture New York Knicks’ fans getting restless with the idea that he would finish fifth in the voting, but here me out. Smith had a career season for the Knicks in 2012-13, which helped the team win many games. The fact that he wants to be a starter so badly means he is going to do whatever it takes to prove that he deserves the role. However, Smith’s numbers were almost too good for his standards. It is hard to imagine that he will be able to repeat his performance this season, which means Sixth Man of the Year might not be in the cards.
4. Jamal Crawford
Jamal Crawford's performance last year was off the charts and he should still put up some decent numbers. However, the reason he is ranked fourth and not higher on the list is because the addition of J.J. Redick means a reduction in minutes. Still, expect Crawford to be a huge factor for the Los Angeles Clippers in 2013-14.
3. Tyreke Evans
The Pelicans made several strides in the offseason to drastically improve the talent on the team. The additions should help New Orleans put forth a much better effort and record this season. As much as people want to focus on the acquisition of Jrue Holiday, the real deal could very well be Tyreke Evans. I would not be surprised if Evans was crowned the Sixth Man of the Year when it is all said and done. He clearly has the talent to be a starter, but it is presence off the bench that is really going to make a difference for the Pelicans.
2. Jarrett Jack
The addition of Jarrett Jack to an already impressive roster makes the Cleveland Cavaliers a very dangerous team. There is no question the Golden State Warriors are going to see a huge loss of production without him coming off the bench. However, Golden State’s loss is Cleveland’s gain as they are going to utilize his talents to the fullest. Expect to see Jack right at the top of the voting for the Sixth Man of the Year Award at the end of the season.
1. Harrison Barnes
There are several players mentioned in the slideshow that have the potential to win the 2013-14 NBA Sixth Man of the Year Award. However, I believe Harrison Barnes is the best bet, at this point. Barnes posted decent numbers throughout the regular season as a rookie last year. His explosion in the playoffs is a good indication that he is prepared to accomplish some big things in his second year in the league. Barnes will play a huge role when the Warriors attempt to go the distance this season, which means being the best sixth man in the NBA will come with the territory.