3. Caris LeVert
Between Donovan Mitchell, Darius Garland, Evan Mobley, and Jarrett Allen, the Cleveland Cavaliers have plenty of young talent and star power. After a disappointing first playoff outing last season, they reshaped the supporting cast and were set for another successful regular season.
When Mobley and Garland both went down with serious injuries, that seemed to be in jeopardy. The Cavaliers prevailed, however, and are currently sitting in second place in the East. LeVert is a big part of that, contributing an average of 15.3 points, 3.5 rebounds, 4.2 assists, and 1.1 steals per game.
His scoring has been rather consistent all season long, which has been crucial for the team while key players were out with injuries. Plus, LeVert had to fill in as the Cavaliers’ backup ball handler quite a lot.
With Garland and Ty Jerome both out, Mitchell had to shift to the starting point guard spot, and Craig Porter was the only backup point guard left. LeVert stepped in, helping out with the playmaking and contributing to the team’s success on several levels.
2. Naz Reid
The Minnesota Timberwolves might just have the best big-man rotation in the NBA. Naz Reid could be a starter on several teams in the league but is coming off the bench for the Timberwolves.
Averaging 12.3 points, 4.6 rebounds, 1.1 assists, and 41.5 percent shooting from three, he is on track to have the best season of his career. Those aren’t just empty numbers either. The Timberwolves are the second seed in a competitive Western Conference.
Anthony Edwards, Karl-Anthony Towns, Rudy Gobert, and Mike Conley are obviously the bigger names on the team, leading the charge, but Reid is just as important. His unique skill set makes him a solid fit next to either starting big, and they can go to the bench without giving up too much size, shooting, or scoring.
Reid is one of three Timberwolves averaging over 40 percent shooting from three and the team’s fourth-leading scorer. He is a huge part of their success, and the rate at which his team is winning will certainly help his case.
Over the last ten seasons, only one center—Montrezl Harrell—won the Sixth Man of the Year award, however. All other winners are classified as shooting guards, showing a strong preference for one position.