NBA

Malik Monk Leads the NBA's Sixth Man of the Year Race at the All-Star Break

Annie Nader
Annie Nader@ANader33
Malik Monk Leads the NBA's Sixth Man of the Year Race at the All-Star Break

With less than two months remaining in the NBA's regular season, awards season is drawing near.

On FanDuel Sportsbook you can find NBA Awards odds for any markets that may interest you, and for the purpose of this article, we'll turn our focus to the Sixth Man of the Year odds.

Before we dive into the odds and eligible candidates, let's take a look at the historical criteria for this award.

For starters, solid team performance is a major aspect of this award. 19 of the last 20 Sixth Man of the Year winners were a part of teams that won at least 47 games. Additionally, 15 of the last 20 winners were on a team that ended the season as a fourth seed or better come playoff time.

And if we check out the stats of the six most recent winners of this award, there seems to be a glaring commonality.

Player Impact Estimate (PIE), a metric used to track a player's all-around impact on the game with a heavy emphasis on all stat categories in the box score, seems to hold preeminent value in the eyes of the voting body.

The six most recent winners of this award led all bench players in PIE (adjusted for players who came off the bench for at least 50 games and played at least 25.0 minutes per game) -- save for Jordan Clarkson, who ranked second in PIE during his award-winning season.

Accounting for team performance and PIE, let's check out the best candidates to take home the 2023-2024 Sixth Man of the Year award.

NBA Sixth Man of the Year Betting Odds

2023-2024 NBA Sixth Man of the Year
Odds
Malik Monk-115
Tim Hardaway Jr. +220
Norman Powell+750
Caris LeVert+1900
Russell Westbrook+2000
Bogdan Bogdanovic+2900
Bennedict Mathurin+4000
View Full Table

Malik Monk (-115)

Since our Aidan Cotter last checked in on this market, Malik Monk's Sixth Man of the Year chances have skyrocketed.

Monk averages 15.1 points per game for the Sacramento Kings. As the team performance aspect of this award goes, he seems to be in fine but not perfect standing. The Kings are currently an eighth seed in the Western Conference standings -- though some leeway could be granted given the stiff competition in the West.

FanDuel Sportsbook has Sacramento's win total set at 46.5 wins, hovering right around that aforementioned magic number of 47 wins.

If we check out a split that accounts for players who have come off the bench for at least 40 games and play at least 20.0 minutes each night, Monk ranks third in PIE.

But, if we adjust this split to account for at least 25.0 minutes of play each game -- the identical split used when looking at the recent winners of this award -- Monk ranks first in PIE.

Tim Hardaway Jr. (+180)

Tim Hardaway Jr. is perhaps the flashiest sixth man, averaging 17.1 points per game for the Dallas Mavericks, but I'm not convinced he has a good enough case to win this award.

Similar to Monk, the team performance aspect of this award has Hardaway in good but not great standing.

The Mavericks currently own the seventh seed in the West while their win total is set at 47.5. With that being said, Dallas made some solid moves at the trade deadline, and we should expect their record to reflect those improvements.

Hardaway's PIE is not cutting it. Among players who have come off the bench for at least 40 games and play 20.0 minutes or more, he ranks just 18th in PIE. This by no means rules Hardaway out of contention, but PIE is too valuable of a metric for me to side with Hardaway at this point in time.

Norman Powell (+750)

The Los Angeles Clippers own the Sixth Man of the Year Award with 5 out of the last 10 winners reporting for Clipper Nation.

This year might be no different, but two eligible candidates on LAC could cause concern for a split vote.

Norman Powell has the third-shortest odds for this award -- and deservedly so. He averages 13.4 points per game and touts stellar shooting percentages, including a 49.5% field goal percentage and 45.3% three-point percentage (fourth-best in NBA).

Powell knows his role on this team and has been a contributor to Los Angeles' success this season, and since the Clippers currently sport the fourth-best record in the league, special consideration should be given to Powell, who has the best plus/minus ratio among all NBA players who have come off the bench for at least 40 games and play at least 25.0 minutes per game.

However, Russell Westbrook (+2000; fifth-shortest odds) is a burgeoning candidate to take home this award, and he could steal some votes from his teammate.

Earlier this season, Westbrook volunteered to come off the bench for the Clippers in an unselfish move that will likely gain him some credit with the voting body.

He's no defensive stud, struggling with the second-worst defensive rating among Clipper players who have suited up for at least 40 games, but among NBA players who have come off the bench for at least 40 games and play at least 20.0 minutes per game, Russ leads the pack in PIE.

Given the ways in which both Powell and Westbrook have uplifted one of the best teams in the league, it's clear they deserve some love. Unfortunately, they could be splitting votes as they rep the same team, so I'd probably steer clear of backing a Clipper for this award.

Caris LeVert (+1900)

Caris LeVert has a better case to win Sixth Man of the Year than his odds suggest.

For starters, LeVert and the Cleveland Cavaliers have been dominant this season, sporting a 36-17 record, which has them situated as the second seed in the East.

The team performance aspect of this award should give LeVert a bump. As mentioned, 15 of the last 20 winners of this award found themself on teams that ended the regular season as a fourth seed or better. Monk and Hardaway don't seem primed to fall under this category.

If we stick with the 40-plus games, 20-plus minutes split that we've been using, LeVert ranks sixth in PIE. But, if we narrow it down to players who see 25-plus minutes on the court each night, LeVert ranks second in PIE behind only Monk.

Add in that LeVert averages a hefty 27.1 minutes off the bench, which is typically seen as a feather in a player's cap for this award, and it's hard not to like him as a longshot option.

Naz Reid (+8000)

Naz Reid is the least flashy but most undervalued Sixth Man of the Year contender.

He's got the team performance criteria on lock as his Minnesota Timberwolves tout a 39-16 record (second-best in the NBA) and currently sit atop the Western Conference standings.

His PIE isn't too shabby, either. In fact, he ranks second in PIE (behind only Westbrook) among players who have come off the bench for at least 40 games and play at least 20 minutes.

Add in that Reid is rocking with the second-best defensive rating in the league (among players who have suited up for at least 40 games), including starters, and I can't begin to understand why his odds for this award are so high.

Reid deserves to be a major talking point in the Sixth Man of the Year conversation. The historical criteria for this award lines up with his resume, so I'm happy to have the opportunity to side with him at +8000.


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