Kings' Malik Monk Named NBA Sixth Man of the Year Finalist

Sacramento's star sixth man could bring home some hardware.
Mar 6, 2024; Los Angeles, California, USA;  Sacramento Kings guard Malik Monk (0) reacts after scoring.
Mar 6, 2024; Los Angeles, California, USA; Sacramento Kings guard Malik Monk (0) reacts after scoring. / Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
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The Sacramento Kings had an abrupt end to their season after Friday's loss to the New Orleans Pelicans, but they will have one more chance to receive recognition for their bits of success. Sacramento's Malik Monk has been voted a finalist for the NBA's Sixth Man of the Year award.

Monk joins Minnesota Timberwolves' Naz Reid and Milwaukee Bucks' Bobby Portis as the three candidates and many fans have begun discussions about who deserves the award more.

Monk came off the bench in all 72 appearances, averaging 15.4 points and 5.1 assists per game with 44.3/35.0/82.9 shooting splits. Sacramento's star bench spark was vital to their success until Monk went down with a season-ending injury that caused him to miss the final nine games and the Play-In Tournament.

Monk's late-season injury likely hurt his chances to run away with the award, as he was a heavy favorite among all betting platforms to win before his MCL sprain.

His top competitor is Reid, who has shined throughout the season. Reid's odds to win the award spiked as Monk went down with injury and Reid moved into Minnesota's starting lineup. The Timberwolves big man averaged 13.5 points and 5.2 rebounds per game with 47.7/41.4/73.6 shooting splits.

Reid's numbers saw a significant jump when he was moved into the starting lineup, which should certainly be a point of discussion when deciding on the league's best bench player.

The third finalist, Portis, has been vital to Milwaukee's success but is not as flashy of a candidate as the other two. Portis averaged 13.8 points and 7.4 rebounds per game with 50.8/40.7/79.0 splits, putting up similar stats as Monk and Reid but with better efficiency.

At the end of the day, any three of these candidates could walk away with the award and there would be no surprise. Most Kings fans would argue that Monk did enough to secure the award, but his injury certainly hurt his chances.

The NBA will unveil the winner of each season-long award throughout the playoffs, beginning on April 23.

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Logan Struck


Logan Struck is the Deputy Editor for Inside the Kings -'s team website following the Sacramento Kings.