NBA Roundtable: Who Will Be the Most Improved Player?

By Kohl Rast
NEW ORLEANS, LA - MARCH 29: Harrison Barnes
NEW ORLEANS, LA - MARCH 29: Harrison Barnes /
1 of 3

The NBA Most Improved Player award is one that is given to a well-deserving player who shows serious growth from last year to this year. A lot of players take major strides in their game from year to year, but every season, a few people stand out. Let’s take a look at this year’s “best guesses”.

Previous winners of the Most Improved Player award include: Giannis Antetokounmpo (2017), C.J. McCollum (2016), Jimmy Butler (2015), Goran Dragic (2014), Paul George (2013), Ryan Anderson (2012), Kevin Love (2011), and Aaron Brooks (2010). All of these players made huge strides from their game the year before and, as you can see, many of these guys have continued to grow their career.

Many of the favorites this year are those who are finally getting an expanded role with their team, either a new team or one who has lost someone else and needs someone to step up. Young players who are finally more comfortable in the NBA are popular picks as well. Yougn stars do not always start out successful and it takes a year or two to fully develop, as you can see from the list above.

The Dallas Mavericks have never had a player win the Most Improved Player award since it was first given in 1986. Many of the Mavs players probably should have been candidates, including Dirk Nowitzki who went from averaging 8 points in his rookie season to nearly 18 in his second year. The award winner in that season (1999-2000) was Jalen Rose.

Are there any Mavs candidates this season? Let’s see what The Smoking Cuban staff thinks.