D’Angelo Russell/Kevon Looney
Sixth Man of the Year is difficult to predict at this stage because the Warriors’ starting five beyond Curry and Green is unclear.
That being said, there is an argument for Russell to come off the bench and if he does, he could be in contention for the award.
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Leading the second unit would allow Russell to spearhead the offense more, making the transition from his time at the Brooklyn Nets a little smoother.
If he did come off the bench, he would contend with Lou Williams, the three-time sixth man of the year, for the title of the most talented non-starter in the league.
Looney was the unsung hero of Golden State’s playoff run last spring. He rebounded with intensity, protected the rim, finished off plays, and did everything else that would be expected from a back-up center.
Like the other returning Warriors, he will have to assume a greater role next season, providing him with a chance to live up to the $15m contract he signed this summer. Granted, he does not have the skillset to be the focal point of an offense, but his consistency and effort are the essences of a good sixth man.
Considering he is familiar with Steve Kerr‘s system, there is a good chance that Looney will start at the five. His connection with Draymond was the foundation of the Warriors’ staple play in the postseason:
Yet if Kerr does decide to stagger minutes Looney, like Russell, could be in line for some recognition.