Ahead of last season, the NBA announced it would begin annually honoring the league’s most clutch player with an award.
The NBA’s Clutch Player of the Year Award is named after NBA legend Jerry West.
Sacramento Kings point guard De’Aaron Fox was presented with the first-ever Jerry West Trophy for his heroic efforts throughout the 2022-23 season.
Who will follow in his footsteps this season? Let’s dig into the latest odds and pick out our NBA Clutch Player of the Year best bets.
NBA Clutch Player of the Year Odds
NBA odds used for these Clutch Player of the Year best bets are current as of Monday, Oct. 16, and courtesy of BetMGM Sportsbook.
- Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (+1000)
- Damian Lillard (+1000)
- Luka Dončić (+1200)
- De’Aaron Fox (+1400)
- Anthony Edwards (+1400)
- Nikola Jokić (+1400)
- Joel Embiid (+1600)
- Donovan Mitchell (+1800)
- Devin Booker (+2000)
- Tyrese Haliburton (+2000)
- Jalen Brunson (+2000)
- Kyrie Irving (+2000)
- Jayson Tatum (+2000)
- Kevin Durant (+2500)
- Trae Young (+2500)
What Is Clutch Scoring?
Clutch scoring isn’t necessarily just a single game-winning shot to end the game. Instead, it’s the ability to have a positive impact on winning in the waning moments of a close contest.
In the NBA, clutch time is defined as the final five minutes of the fourth quarter or overtime when the score of a respective game is within five points.
The goal is thus to find players on competitive teams who will have the ball in their hands often and aren’t afraid of the big moment.
Who Will Win NBA Clutch Player of the Year in 2024?
Trae Young (+2500)
Atlanta Hawks point guard Trae Young perfectly meets the criteria we’re looking for when trying to predict the winner of this award. Young ranked seventh amongst all NBA players in usage rate last season (32.4) and is the engine that drives the Hawks’ offense.
Per NBA University, Young was tied for the third-most field goal attempts in the clutch during the 2022-23 season (104). This shows that he’s not only willing to operate as the closer when the outcome of the game is in the balance, but the team trusts him to do so.
- See where Young sits in our top 10 NBA point guard rankings.
The Hawks went 41-41 last season before being eliminated from the NBA Play-In Tournament and should be competitive yet again in 2023-24, with an expected win total of 41.5 per FanDuel Sportsbook.
This bodes well for Young’s chances of being this season’s NBA Clutch Player of the Year.
NBA Clutch Player of the Year Favorites
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (+1000)
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander has established himself as one of the craftiest scorers in the NBA. His ability to stop on a dime and/or beat defenders off the dribble with his elite ball-handling skills has turned him into an offensive force that defenses need to account for in the closing moments of games.
The Oklahoma City Thunder took a lot of people by surprise in 2022-23, posting a 40-42 record behind the play of Gilgeous-Alexander. His 3.4 clutch points per game last season ranked in the top 20 of the league.
Having already solidified his role as the player the Thunder look to when they need a big play late in games, SGA will continue to be relied upon heavily on an ascending team.
Damian Lillard (+1000)
Given the nickname “Dame Time” for his propensity to take and make big shots throughout his career, Damian Lillard has cemented his status as one of the most clutch players in NBA history. It’s therefore impossible to discuss this award without mentioning him at the forefront of potential winners.
After 11 years of icing games for the Portland Trail Blazers, Lillard took his talents to Milwaukee this offseason in hopes of doing the same for the Bucks in 2023-24 and beyond. He joins forces with two-time league MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo, and the two figure to be in a position to close out plenty of games.
Lillard’s ability to make shots from virtually anywhere on the court makes him a constant threat who always needs to be accounted for, especially in the clutch.
NBA Clutch Player of the Year Contenders
De’Aaron Fox (+1400)
Last year’s winner of the inaugural NBA Clutch Player of the Year Award, Sacramento Kings point guard De’Aaron Fox, is in a prime position to repeat as the league’s most clutch player.
Fox not only attempted the most field goals in the clutch in 2022-23 but also shot the most efficiently of any player in the top 10 (55.5%).
- Check out the latest NBA Finals betting odds.
The Kings didn’t add any playmakers this offseason, which means Fox will continue to operate with the ball in his hands as much as possible when games are on the line.
He is arguably the quickest player in the NBA and has improved his three-point shooting to the point that defenses must respect it, making him a difficult player to contain at any point of a game and increasingly so down the stretch.
Jalen Brunson (+2000)
While Jalen Brunson may not possess Fox’s elite combination of speed and athleticism, he has been able to lull defenses to sleep with his exceptional footwork, fakes, jabs, and hesitation moves.
Despite being undersized, he has made a living in the midrange, with his ability to create separation playing a large role in that.
Brunson ranked 10th in clutch field-goal attempts (91) last season, per NBA University. And of those top 10 players, he ranked second in field goal percentage (54.9%), trailing only Fox, last year’s winner of the award.
It’s worth noting that Brunson finished fourth in the NBA’s Clutch Player of the Year Award voting for 2022-23, thanks to his ability to close out games for the New York Knicks.
If he can continue to stack trademark wins for one of the most historic franchises in American sports, he’ll be a finalist for this award once again.
NBA Clutch Player of the Year Sleepers
Devin Booker (+2000)
Booker has earned a reputation as one of the most well-rounded offensive players in the NBA. He’s a true three-level scorer who can beat you from virtually any spot on the floor.
His silky-smooth jump shot, paired with his athleticism and ball-handling ability, have made him a nightmare for opposing defenses.
Booker would probably be higher on this list if he didn’t have to share any potential clutch-time opportunities with another player who happens to be featured on this list, Kevin Durant.
- Find out where they rank in our NBA MVP odds.
While it’s a luxury that the Suns get to choose between Booker and Durant in the final stages of games, that may impact both of their chances of winning this award.
Nevertheless, Durant has played 55 games or fewer in each of the past three seasons. His inability to stay healthy throughout the course of an 82-game season could force the Suns to rely more on Booker, making him a sleeper to win this award.
Jayson Tatum (+2000)
The Boston Celtics have been one of the most talked about teams this offseason. After coming up short in the NBA playoffs, they completely overhauled their roster and are now widely viewed as one of the two or three favorites to win it all.
Despite the major roster reconstruction, Jayson Tatum is a constant for this team. While the Celtics added notable players like Jrue Holiday and Kristaps Porzingis, Tatum and teammate Jaylen Brown will still be the focal point of the offense.
Tatum showcased his clutch gene in closing out the Eastern Conference Semifinals last season, becoming one of two players in NBA history to score 50-plus points in a Game 7.