Utah’s Jordan Clarkson has been phenomenal off the bench for the team with the best record in all of basketball, as he is averaging a career-high 17.4 points per game in just 25 minutes of action per night.
Couple this fact that he is doing this while being on the team with the NBA’s best record, along with minute reductions for three-time winner Lou Williams and 2020 winner Montrezl Harrell, and Clarkson has gone from his +950 preseason odds to be the 6th Man of the Year all the way to a commanding -150 to top the odds board.
Jordan Clarkson too smooth with it.
— SLAM (@SLAMonline) January 30, 2021
Should Clarkson essentially go wire-to-wire in winning the award, he would become the first player in Utah Jazz history to stake claim to the award.
Can Anyone Catch Clarkson for 6th Man Honors?
While it’s not impossible that something dramatic happens in the coming weeks to shake up the odds board, as long as Clarkson stays healthy and avoids a major injury this award race may be over and done with come All-Star Weekend.
With that being said, there are still a couple of dark horses in the 6th Man race to keep an eye on.
Toronto Raptors’ big man Chris Boucher (+700 to win ROTY) stands to be Clarkson’s biggest hurdle to the award as the former G-League standout is averaging 13 points, six rebounds, and two blocks per game in just 22 minutes a night.
However, the Raptors are off to a slow start and currently sit at 9-12 overall on the season and last place in the NBA’s Atlantic Division. There is also a better than good chance that Boucher will eventually find himself in the starting lineup, essentially killing any chance he’d have at catching Clarkson.
2020 NBA Sixth Man of the Year Award winner Montrezl Harrell (+2400 to win ROTY) has not made nearly the same impact coming off the Lakers’ bench as he did with the Clippers a season ago, and while he still has still been productive, he just doesn’t resonate with voters nearly as well this season when ‘Bron & The Brow’ are doing much of the cooking for the defending champions.
Like Boucher, the Lakers may also consider sliding Harrell into the starting five should Marc Gasol continue to struggle.
Ever since leaving the NBA Bubble, the Miami Heat have struggled to find their Orlando form that saw them storm through the Eastern Conference before falling to the Lakers in the 2020 NBA Finals.
This has extended over to Goran Dragic (+1200 to win ROTY), who has not looked anything like the Dragic we witnessed just a few months ago. And, in a reoccurring theme for this award, Dragic is occasionally pressed into starting duties for the Heat, putting his eligibility for the award into further doubt should Pat Riley look to make a trade to shake up the roster.
On the surface, the one name to keep an eye on is that of Houston’s Eric Gordon (+2400 to win ROTY) as the Rockets have quietly played much better basketball after relieving themselves of the James Harden saga, with Gordon essentially matching Clarkson in the scoring column by averaging nearly 18-points per contest.
Should the Rockets continue to play well and find themselves in the thick of the Western Conference playoff chase, Gordon’s candidacy to win his second career 6th Man Award will bolster, but if the Jazz continue to win games at a torrid pace it may not mean a whole lot what the Rockets accomplish the rest of the way.
Nonetheless, there is great value here at 24/1 if you’re looking to make a dart throw.
Odds to Win NBA Sixth Man Award (as of 2/4/21)
|Jordan Clarkson (UTA)||-150|
|Chris Boucher (TOR)||+700|
|Goran Dragic (MIA)||+1200|
|Shake Milton (PHI)||+1500|
|Terrence Ross (ORL)||+1600|
|Eric Gordon (HOU)||+2400|
|Montrezl Harrell (LAL)||+2400|
|Patty Mills (SA)||+3300|
|Derrick Rose (DET)||+3600|
|Lou Williams (LAC)||+3600|
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