Top 3 Candidates For Sixth Man Of The Year 2022-23

Tyler Herro, the reigning NBA Sixth Man of the Year, came out today to insist he's "got the game" to be a starter. 

With plenty of speculation that Herro will actually get that chance at some point this season—particularly after the huge contract he just signed—we'll likely have a new name take home the Sixth Man hardware in 2023. 

Here are three of the top candidates to take the award:

Christian Wood, Dallas Mavericks

Wood was a starter the past two seasons with the Houston Rockets, and that allowed him to blossom into a 20 and 10 threat every night (he averaged 19.1 points and 9.9 rebounds in those two seasons). 

Somewhat surprisingly, Mavericks coach Jason Kidd said right at the outset of training camp that he plans to have Christian Wood be his 6th man. If he could do what he's been doing against starters, there's no telling what Wood will be able to accomplish coming in against opponents' second units. 

Mavs owner Mark Cuban, of course, has got the hype machine going for Wood's Sixth Man credentials: "I think he’s the leading candidate for Sixth Man of the Year. At least a top three candidate. I think he’s just going to crush it this year." 

Jordan Poole, Golden State Warriors

Poole had a breakthrough season last year, averaging 18.5 points—up over 6 points per game—while dishing out 4.0 assists and grabbing 3.4 rebounds, all career highs by a long shot. 

He did start in 50 games due to the delay of Klay Thompson's return and other factors, but coming into the season, Poole is expected to pack a punch (so to speak) off the bench, in relief of the Warriors' regular starting lineup that does include Klay once again. 

Malcolm Brogdon, Boston Celtics

The 6-year veteran has proven himself the past two seasons to be a 20-point scorer with the Indiana Pacers, along with 5.9 assists and 5.0 rebounds. He's the perfect meld of a 'one' and a 'two' to be the third guard behind Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart. If the Celtics' plan in acquiring Brogdon plays out as they hope, he will indeed be a prime candidate to win Sixth Man. 

The key for him, as always, is to stay healthy. Going into his age-30 season, he played just 36 games last season due to an assortment of injuries, and just 56 the season before. He's only played more than 64 games once in his career. 

If he can stay on the floor—coming off the bench—he's got a shot. 

Photo: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports