After the Jazz blew Game 1 last night, they needed a moment of positivity. First, the good news came in that Donovan Mitchell was going to be active for Game 2. Probably a game too late but that's another topic for another blog. Then before the MIA/MIL tip tonight we had this moment between two Sixth Man Of The Year finalists. Sidenote, has this ever happened before? A team that has two guys in the final three for 6MOY? That feels a little crazy but certainly both were deserving.
For me, and really anyone who has watched Jordan Clarkson this season, the 6MOY award has basically been his to lose all year. I mean you're talking about 18.4/4.0/2.5 a game in 26 minutes off the bench. That's not exactly something every team has. Let's not forget, the Jazz landed Clarkson for the hefty price of Dante Exum, a 2022 2nd and a 2023 2nd. I'd say they came out OK in that deal. Since Clarkson arrived in UTA he's averaged the most points in his career (17.3) while also shooting the best from three (35%) while making the most 3PM (2.7). One of those moves that really seems like it worked out. You trade a young player with promise but who is also always hurt for a 6MOY to help solidify your roster. A guy who can come in and score in bunches off your bench is pretty valuable in today's NBA
Not only that, but he's locked in for the foreseeable future too. This year was just Year 1 of his 5/51M deal, which seems like a pretty good bargain given his production. He made just $11.5M this year and will make just 12M/13M/14M (player option) the rest of the way. I'd consider that great value.
Also, how about Joe Ingles. What a cool dude. I think like 83% of it is his Australian accent which makes everything 10x cooler, but this was a cool way to surprise your teammate and friend. You could tell Clarkson didn't even see it coming which is what made it even better.
Out of all the awards, this one was honestly the least surprising. The narrative didn't really change around it like it may have for something like MVP. My guess is if his role with the Jazz doesn't change we could have a Lou Williams or Jamal Crawford situation on our hands where Clarkson starts to rack up multiple 6MOYs. Guy has found his niche and thrived.