Preseason prediction: Barbosa for Sixth Man Award

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Editor's note: We asked our panel of NBA experts, "Who will win Sixth Man award?"

1. Leandro Barbosa (6 votes)

Chad Ford, ESPN.com: Super speed and a perpetual green light from Mike D'Antoni make him a favorite to repeat this award.

Jemele Hill, ESPN.com:
He can average 20 off the bench without breaking a sweat.

Keith Lipscomb, ESPN.com Fantasy:
I'm a little worried that Manu's many trips to the deck could limit him to 65 games, which is all the wiggle room Barbosa needs to snatch the award.

Jalen Rose, ESPN: Coming off the bench and averaging 18 ppg is big. Less competition for the award with Ben Gordon starting in Chicago.

Marc Stein, ESPN.com: Ginobili would be the choice if the Spurs didn't limit his minutes in the regular season, because he's the best sixth man in the game. But Barbosa is 1A and the Suns don't limit his regular-season minutes.

David Thorpe, Scouts Inc.: He was the best last year, and I see no changes this season. Good enough to start for 90 percent of the teams in the league.

2. Manu Ginobili (5 votes)

Henry Abbott, ESPN.com's TrueHoop: Will be tough to beat.

Jon Barry, ESPN: Because back-to-back votes for Leandro Barbosa seem unlikely. Manu and Barbosa are both deserving and capable.

John Hollinger, ESPN.com: Biggest threat isn't other sixth men, but potential move back to starting lineup.

Jack Ramsay, ESPN Radio: Who's better off the bench?

Scoop Jackson, ESPN.com: Won't settle for being the third-best player of the best trio in the League.

3. Andres Nocioni (2 votes)

Chris Broussard, ESPN Mag

Chris Palmer, ESPN Mag:
The most physical perimeter defender in the league. Will lead the league in drawing technical fouls. Just plain annoys people.


Boris Diaw (1 vote)

J.A. Adande, ESPN.com: Will have to play "bigger" with Kurt Thomas gone.

Monta Ellis (1 vote)

Kiki Vandeweghe, ESPN: Ellis is my pick if Nelson brings him off the bench. He'll continue to get better in Nelson's system.

Al Harrington (1 vote)

Mark Jackson, ESPN: If he comes off the bench, he can deliver as an explosive scorer. A tough matchup whether at big forward or small forward. He can knock down the 3, put the ball on the floor or post up.

Jason Maxiell (1 vote)

Chris Sheridan, ESPN.com: Wanted to take a flier on Philadelphia's Louis Williams here, but Mad Max will be doing his thing for a contender, which will make the difference.

Bonzi Wells (1 vote)

Ric Bucher, ESPN Mag: A dynamic force in Rick Adelman's offense.