Being the Most Improved Players in the Association may be one of the greatest honors a guy can get, as a true recognition of how much hard worked they put during the offseason and how much they want to become stellar players.
Over the course of history, we’ve seen some ballers become standout and even All-Star kind of players after winning the MIP recognition the previous campaign, so you definitely have to keep an eye on them after taking the award home.
Today, we’re going to take a look at some of the guys that have improved the most in the Association, although sometimes their averages may not change that much but their impact is definitely more felt.
10. Gary Harris
Gary Harris’ numbers haven’t changed much from one season to another, as he came from averaging 14.9 points, 3.1 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game with 1.2 steals, to put 17.4 points, 2.8 boards and 3.2 dimes with 1.9 steals per contest.
Nonetheless, it seems like his offensive game is finally catching up to his defense, becoming the most important player for a resurging Denver Nuggets squad that may finally end their playoff drought, and he’s looking like a future All-Star as years go by.
9. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson
Rondae Hollis-Jefferson has quietly emerged as a very solid two-way wing player for the sluggish Brooklyn Nets, and even though his shot seems quite of broke, he’s still managed to become a consistent scorer.
Over the prior campaign, RHJ put averages of 8.7 points, 5.8 rebounds and a couple of dimes per contest, while he’s now putting up career-high numbers of 14.3 points, 6.8 rebounds and 2.3 dimes per contest on 47% from the floor, as well as being able to play at both forward spots and even center.
8. Aaron Gordon
Aaron Gordon is finally coming together after looking extremely rough and kind of a bust during his first couple of NBA seasons, putting a lot of work during the offseason both mentally and physically to take his game to a whole new level.
Finally, back together to play at the four rather than a small forward, Gordon came from averaging 12.5 points, 5.1 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game to averaging 18.4 points, 8.3 rebounds and 2.2 assists on 34% shooting from beyond the arc, one of his biggest liabilities.
7. Tyreke Evans
Tyreke Evans is back at his rookie season level and is finally looking like the kind of explosive and versatile scorer everybody expected out of him during his first Sacramento Kings stint, and he’s been one of the most desired players as we head towards the trade deadline.
Besides being able to play both guard spots and also the three, his averages of 19.5 points, 5 rebounds and 5 dimes with 1 steal per game on 45% shooting are way better than his last year’s numbers of 11.6 points, 3.6 boards and 2.4 helpers per contest.
6. Giannis Antetokounmpo
The Greek Freak has already won the MIP player award, but he may actually be capable of pulling it off once again, as his numbers keep getting better and better as years go by, and he keeps on leading the Milwaukee Bucks towards playoff contention with his outstanding play.
The prior campaign, he already took the league for assault with averages of 22.9 points, 8.8 boards and 5.4 dimes per game on 52% shooting, while this season he’s been even better with 28 points, 10.4 rebounds, and 4.7 dimes on a career-high 30% from downtown and 54% shooting overall.
5. Victor Oladipo
Oh, the irony. Well, the Oklahoma City Thunder traded away an All-Star for a guy that came to the All-Star game as an injury replacement, with Victor Oladipo proving all his doubters wrong ever since setting foot at Indiana where he’s looked like a whole different player.
Oladipo’s finally coming together as the star we all thought he would become, and he went from averaging 15.9 points, 4.3 boards, 2.5 dimes and 1.2 steals with 0.3 blocks on 44% shooting and 36% from three, to scoring 24.0 points with 5.2 rebounds, 4.1 assists, 1.9 steals and 0.8 blocks per game on 48% shooting and 39% from beyond the arc despite playing pretty much the same minutes than last season.
4. Lou Williams
Talking about guys that have been on a major tear all year long, we definitely need to give Lou Williams some recognition, almost single-handedly leading the Los Angeles Clippers to playoff contention despite all the injuries.
Williams is a perennial Sixth Man of the Year candidate, yet he may add the MIP award to his personal accolades this season. After averaging 14.5 points, 3 rebounds and 2.4 dimes with 0.7 steals per game the prior year, he’s now averaging 23.4 points, 2.5 boards and 5.2 dimes per contest to go along with 1.1 steals.
3. Spencer Dinwiddie
Spencer Dinwiddie has surged as a very solid starting point guard for the bad Brooklyn Nets, being kind of a blessing in disguise following Jeremy Lin’s season-ending injury and the knee injury D’Angelo Russell suffered.
While the previous season he was averaging 7.3 points, 2.8 boards and 3.1 dimes on 22 minutes per night, he’s now up to 28.5 minutes a game with 13.5 points, 3.3 rebounds and 6.5 helpers per contest.
2. Jaylen Brown
Jaylen Brown has completely lived up to the task of filling in Gordon Hayward’s shoes after a very good rookie year, being one of the main reasons why the Boston Celtics have been at the top of the Eastern Conference for most of the season.
Brown seemed like he was going to suffer a lot with Hayward in town, but his season averages as a sophomore (14.2 points, 5.4 boards, 1.6 dimes and 1 steals on 38% shooting from beyond the arc in 31 minutes per game) are way better than his 6.6 points, 2.2 boards and 28. Dimes with 0.4 steals per contest in 17 minutes as a rookie.
1. Kris Dunn
After having a very disappointing rookie season following a standout career at Providence, it seems like Kris Dunn has once again emerged as one of the game’s best prospects as the Chicago Bulls starting point guard.
During his rookie year, he was only able to play for 17 minutes a night with Rubio and Tyus Jones also in town, averaging 3.8 points,1 steal 2.1 boards and 2.4 dimes per game, while now he’s averaging 13.7 points, 4.6 rebounds, 6.1 assists, and 2.1 steals on 43% shooting.