List of NBA Most Improved Player Award Winners

Last Modified Sep 25, 2023 12:43 GMT
List of NBA Most Improved Player Award Winners
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The NBA’s Most Improved Player Award is presented to the player who shows the most improvement from the previous season. It is an award selected by a panel of Canadian and United States sportswriters every year. Each sportswriter casts a vote for the selection of first, second and third place.


The first, second and third place votes are worth five points, three points and one point respectively. The player with the highest points is announced as the winner, irrespective of the number of first place votes one gets. It was an open-ended process to select the most improved player, but the NBA later elucidated that it was a conscious effort to reward an up and coming player who has improved enormously.


It should be noted that this award is not for a player who has made a strong comeback. A separate award is named NBA Comeback Player of the Year for that. The trophy is named after five-time NBA Champion George Mikan. A player needs to play atleast 65 games to be eligible for most of the awards in the NBA, including the Most Improved Player award.


The award has been presented to 36 players till now. Players from the Indiana Pacers and Orlando Magic have won the award five times, which is the most for any team.


Below mentioned is a list of players who won Most Improved Player since 1985.

SeasonPlayerPositionNationalityTeam
1985–86Alvin RobertsonGuardUnited StatesSan Antonio Spurs
1986–87Dale EllisGuard/forwardUnited StatesSeattle SuperSonics
1987–88Kevin DuckworthCenterUnited StatesPortland Trail Blazers
1988–89Kevin JohnsonGuardUnited StatesPhoenix Suns
1989–90Rony SeikalyCenterUnited StatesMiami Heat
1990–91Scott SkilesGuardUnited StatesOrlando Magic
1991–92Pervis EllisonCenter/forwardUnited StatesWashington Bullets
1992–93Chris JacksonGuardUnited StatesDenver Nuggets
1993–94Don MacLeanForwardUnited StatesWashington Bullets
1994–95Dana BarrosGuardUnited StatesPhiladelphia 76ers
1995–96Gheorghe MureșanCenterRomaniaWashington Bullets
1996–97Isaac AustinCenterUnited StatesMiami Heat
1997–98Alan HendersonForwardUnited StatesAtlanta Hawks
1998–99Darrell ArmstrongGuardUnited StatesOrlando Magic
1999–00Jalen RoseGuard/forwardUnited StatesIndiana Pacers
2000–01Tracy McGradyGuard/forwardUnited StatesOrlando Magic
2001–02Jermaine O'NealForward/centerUnited StatesIndiana Pacers
2002–03Gilbert ArenasGuardUnited StatesGolden State Warriors
2003–04Zach RandolphForwardUnited StatesPortland Trail Blazers
2004–05Bobby SimmonsGuard/forwardUnited StatesLos Angeles Clippers
2005–06Boris DiawForwardFrancePhoenix Suns
2006–07Monta EllisGuardUnited StatesGolden State Warriors
2007–08Hedo TürkoğluForwardTurkeyOrlando Magic
2008–09Danny GrangerForwardUnited StatesIndiana Pacers
2009–10Aaron BrooksGuardUnited StatesHouston Rockets
2010–11Kevin LoveForward/centerUnited StatesMinnesota Timberwolves
2011–12Ryan AndersonForwardUnited StatesOrlando Magic
2012–13Paul GeorgeForwardUnited StatesIndiana Pacers
2013–14Goran DragićGuardSloveniaPhoenix Suns
2014–15Jimmy ButlerGuard/forwardUnited StatesChicago Bulls
2015–16CJ McCollumGuardUnited StatesPortland Trail Blazers
2016–17Giannis AntetokounmpoForwardGreeceMilwaukee Bucks
2017–18Victor OladipoGuardUnited StatesIndiana Pacers
2018–19Pascal SiakamForwardCameroonToronto Raptors
2019–20Brandon IngramForwardUnited StatesNew Orleans Pelicans
2020–21Julius RandleForwardUnited StatesNew York Knicks
2021–22Ja MorantGuardUnited StatesMemphis Grizzlies
2022–23Lauri MarkkanenForwardFinlandUtah Jazz


The below table lists the teams with the most number of Most Improved Player awards:


AwardsTeamsYears
5Indiana Pacers2000, 2002, 2009, 2013, 2018
Orlando Magic1991, 1999, 2001, 2008, 2012
3Washington Bullets1992, 1994, 1996
Phoenix Suns1989, 2006, 2014
Portland Trail Blazers1988, 2004, 2016
2Miami Heat1990, 1997
Golden State Warriors2003, 2007
1San Antonio Spurs1986
Seattle SuperSonics1987
Denver Nuggets1993
Philadelphia 76ers1995
Atlanta Hawks1998
Los Angeles Clippers2005
Houston Rockets2010
Minnesota Timberwolves2011
Chicago Bulls2015
Milwaukee Bucks2017
Toronto Raptors2019
New Orleans Pelicans2020
New York Knicks2021
Memphis Grizzlies2022
Utah Jazz2023
0Brooklyn NetsNone
Los Angeles Lakers
Boston Celtics
Dallas Mavericks
Charlotte Hornets
Cleveland Cavaliers
Oklahoma City Thunder
Detroit Pistons
Sacramento Kings



FAQs

A. Mikal Bridges is a strong candidate to win NBA Most Improved Player in the 2023-24 NBA season.

A. The NBA Comeback Player of the Year was awarded between 1981 to 1986. It is no longer active.

A. LeBron James is the NBA’s all-time leading scorer with 38,652 points.

A. Boban Marjanovic is 7 feet 4 inches tall and plays for the Houston Rockets. He is the tallest player in the NBA as of 2023.

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