NBA Sixth Man of the Year Power Rankings: Austin Reaves rises, new name makes list

Dec 16, 2023; Portland, Oregon, USA; Dallas Mavericks forward Tim Hardaway Jr.
Dec 16, 2023; Portland, Oregon, USA; Dallas Mavericks forward Tim Hardaway Jr. / Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports
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3. Tim Hardaway Jr.

Last week's rank: 3

Tim Hardaway Jr. continues to be one of the most up-and-down players in the NBA. Over the past week, Hardaway Jr. scored 32 and 25 points. Sandwiched in between those games, Hardaway Jr. lad a 4-of-15 egg against the Timberwolves.

In that same game, Hardaway Jr. went 0-of-7 from downtown. He was a miserable minus-30 on the night. While the Dallas guard has low lows, he also has extremely high highs.

To begin the week, Hardaway Jr. shredded the Los Angeles Lakers to the tune of 32 points. He knocked down 10-of-21 shots and 5-of-10 3-pointers. The Dallas swingman also made 7-of-8 freebies on the night. Oddly enough, he finished with a negative plus/minus.

Hardaway Jr.'s contributions are certainly hard to track on the stat sheet. But he sure plays an integral role on the Mavericks. The Dallas efficiency dips with Hardaway Jr. on the court, but their points per possession output increases by 6.1.

The Dallas guard is difficult to place in these rankings because he does exactly what the sixth men of the past have done. Shoot with high volume and play less-than-stellar defense. However, the prototypical NBA sixth man now contributes more than scoring, which does hold him back in these rankings.

Despite some of Hardaway Jr.'s inconsistencies, he's fundamental to the Mavericks' successes. Although a small sample, Dallas is 1-2 without Hardaway Jr. And without Hardaway Jr., Dallas averages just 111.3 points per game, nearly nine points below their season average.