2023 NBA Most Improved Player Predictions, Betting Odds, Picks
- Get the most recent 2023 NBA Most Improved Player odds
- Minnesota Timberwolves guard Anthony Edwards is the favorite to win the Most Improved Player Award
- View stats and trends that will help you beat the sportsbooks
The 2022-2023 NBA season is getting nearer and every single player is looking to improve on their performance from last year. We’re going to take a look at some of the players that will be in the running for the Most Improved Player of the Year award!
2023 NBA Most Improved Player Odds
Odds taken from PointsBet, odds taken on 30 Aug 2023
|Anthony Edwards||Minnesota Timberwolves||+1000 |
|Tyrese Haliburton||Indiana Pacers||+1200 |
|Jalen Brunson||New York Knicks||+1600 |
|Zion Williamson||New Orleans Pelicans||+1800 |
|Cade Cunningham||Detroit Pistons||+2000 |
|RJ Barrett||New York Knicks||+2000 |
|Jordan Poole||Golden State Warriors||+2800 |
|Scottie Barnes||Toronto Raptors||+3000 |
|LaMelo Ball||Charlotte Hornets||+2500 |
Let’s answer some of the most important questions about the NBA Most Improved Player Award.
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The NBA’s Most Improved Player award is given to the player who has displayed the most impressive individual growth from their last season. The prize doesn’t just take into account scoring contributions, but production across the board and impact on success.
Winners of the Most Improved Player tend to be highlighted as some of the league’s rising stars. Many winners have gone on to become All-Stars, NBA Champions, and even members of the Basketball Hall of Fame!
Let’s take a look at some of the most important questions about the Most Improved Player award!
Who is the Favorite to Win NBA Most Improved Player in 2023?
(G) Tyrese Haliburton – 6-5, 185 lb (196 cm, 83 kg) – Iowa State
Tyrese Haliburton is one of the most under-discussed and talented young players in NBA. He ranked 7th in assists (8.2) and adjusted assists (9.6) while ranking 4th in passes made at 63.4. Elite playmaking. pic.twitter.com/csu1aVe454
— And One Analysis (@analysis_one) August 2, 2022
Incoming third-year guard Tyrese Haliburton was openly disappointed with his trade from the Sacramento Kings to the Indiana Pacers, but he made the most of his opportunity. After joining the All-Rookie Team in 2021, he’s been on an upward trend and is the sportsbooks favorite to be Most Improved Player.
Haliburton put in an excellent sophomore season, averaging 15.3 points, 8.2 assists, and 1.7 steals on 47.3% shooting from the field and 41.4% shooting from three. But he upped his game after joining Sacramento, averaging 17.5 points, 9.6 assists, and 1.8 steals on 50.2% shooting from the field and 41.6% from three.
After Indiana traded away All-Star big man Domantas Sabonis and lead guard Malcolm Brogdon, it’s been made clear that the future of the franchise lies with Haliburton. Already playing a massive role, Haliburton’s place as Indiana’s first option makes him an easy favorite for Most Improved Player.
Who are the contenders to win 2023 NBA Most Improved Player?
(G) Anthony Edwards – 6-4, 225 lb (193 cm, 102 kg) – Georgia
— Overtime (@overtime) August 5, 2022
Anthony Edwards is already one of the league’s most exciting young stars. With another season in the books, Edwards is expected to make another jump. With a defensive stalwart added to the Timberwolves in Rudy Gobert, Edwards focus on offence should be even greater.
In his sophomore campaign, Edwards posted 21.3 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 3.8 assists on 44.1% shooting from the field and 35.7% from three. He didn’t add much more to his statistics, but his improved efficiency was impressive for such a young player.
With the additional threat of their new center Rudy Gobert, Edwards’ offensive potential should be unlocked to another level. If he can remain efficient while surrounded by the strongest team he’s ever had, Edwards can make a serious run at the Most Improved Player Award.
(G) Jalen Brunson – 6-1, 190 lb (185 cm, 86 kg) – Villanova
“That’s what you do!”
— NBA (@NBA) December 22, 2021
After putting in the most impressive season of his young career, Jalen Brunson has signed on to be the lead playmaker for the New York Knicks. Despite his short stature, Brunson has proven to be an efficient scorer.
The New York Knicks have been missing leadership at the point guard position. Ranking 30th in assists per game, Brunson has the chance to drastically improve a Knicks team with high expectations.
(F) Zion Williamson – 6-6, 284 lb (198 cm, 128 kg) – Duke
Zion Williamson was an all-star last season averaging 27/7/4 on 61% FG.
Healthy Zion is a generational talent pic.twitter.com/ynyqnfxBIa
— Hilltop Hoops (@HilltopNBA) March 5, 2022
The NBA is waiting for Zion Williamson to make his return. He did not play during the 2021-22 NBA season due to injury, which makes many forget his 27.0 point, 7.2 rebound, All-Star worthy season in 2021. If he can get back to his pre-injury level with the Pelicans, there’s no question that he’ll be a Most Improved candidate.
Who was the 2022 NBA Most Improved Player?
— NBA (@NBA) January 29, 2022
Ja Morant of the Memphis Grizzlies won the 2022 Most Improved Player award. Playing in just his third professional season, Morant led his Grizzlies to the Western Conference Semifinals. Averaging almost a triple-double through the NBA Playoffs surely improved his stock.
Despite playing just 57 games through the 2021-22 NBA season, Morant averaged 27.4 points, 6.7 assists, and 5.7 rebounds in 33.1 minutes per game. He improved his shooting across the board, averaging 49.3% from the field and 34.4% from three.
Morant accumulated 38 first place votes for the Most Improved Player award. It was one of the most competitive years for the prize, as he beat out Dejounte Murray of the Spurs who won 20 first place votes, and Darius Garland of the Cavaliers who won 11 first place votes.
When Will the NBA Most Improved Player be Announced?
The winner of the NBA’s Most Improved Player Award is expected to be announced following the conclusion of the NBA regular season and the NBA Play-In tournament. It was previously announced at the NBA Awards show, until its cancellation after the COVID-19 pandemic.
Last year’s Most Improved Player Award was announced by the winner’s team, while also being broadcast during an airing of Inside the NBA.
NBA Most Improved Player by Year
|2022||Ja Morant||Memphis Grizzlies||United States|
|2021||Julius Randle||New York Knicks||United States|
|2020||Brandon Ingram||New Orleans Pelicans||United States|
|2019||Pascal Siakam||Toronto Raptors||Cameroon|
|2018||Victor Oladipo||Indiana Pacers||United States|
|2017||Giannis Antetokounmpo||Milwaukee Bucks||Greece|
|2016||CJ McCollum||Portland Trail Blazers||United States|
|2015||Jimmy Butler||Chicago Bulls||United States|
|2014||Goran Dragic||Phoenix Suns||Slovenia|
|2013||Paul George||Indiana Pacers||United States|
|2012||Ryan Anderson||Orlando Magic||United States|
|2011||Kevin Love||Minnesota Timberwolves||United States|
|2010||Aaron Brooks||Houston Rockets||United States|
|2009||Danny Granger||Indiana Pacers||United States|
|2008||Hedo Turkoglu||Orlando Magic||Turkey|
|2007||Monta Ellis||Golden State Warriors||United States|
|2006||Boris Diaw||Phoenix Suns||France|
|2005||Bobby Simmons||LA Clippers||United States|
|2004||Zach Randolph||Portland Trail Blazers||United States|
|2003||Gilbert Arenas||Golden State Warriors||United States|
|2002||Jermaine O’Neal||Indiana Pacers||United States|
|2001||Tracy McGrady||Orlando Magic||United States|
|2000||Jalen Rose||Indiana Pacers||United States|
|1999||Darrell Armstrong||Orlando Magic||United States|
|1998||Alan Henderson||Atlanta Hawks||United States|
|1997||Isaac Austin||Miami Heat||United States|
|1996||Gheroghe Muresan||Washington Bullets||Romania|
|1995||Dana Barros||Philadelphia 76ers||United States|
|1994||Don MacLean||Washington Bullets||United States|
|1993||Chris Jackson||Denver Nuggets||United States|
|1992||Pervis Ellison||Washington Bullets||United States|
|1991||Scott Skiles||Orlando Magic||United States|
|1990||Rony Seikaly||Miami Heat||United States|
|1989||Kevin Johnson||Phoenix Suns||United States|
|1988||Kevin Duckworth||Portland Trail Blazers||United States|
|1987||Dale Ellis||Seattle SuperSonics||United States|
|1986||Alvin Robertson||San Antonio Spurs||United States|
Does the NBA Most Improved Player Receive A Prize?
The winner of the NBA’s Most Improved Player does not receive a prize per se. In commemoration of their accomplishment, the award winner is written into NBA history as one of its most notable players.
The Most Improved Player Award tends to signal the growth of a player and who to expect more from as their career moves forward.
Have any Most Improved Player Winners Become All-Stars?
There have been 20 Most Improved Player winners who have gone on to become NBA All-Stars. Alvin Robertson, Dana Barros, Tracy McGrady, Jermaine O’Neal, Danny Granger, Kevin Love, Paul George, Jimmy Butler, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Victor Oladipo, Brandon Ingram, Julius Randle, and Ja Morant won the award and became an All-Star in the same season.
Dale Ellis, Kevin Duckworth, Kevin Johnson, Gilbert Arenas, Zach Randolph, Goran Dragic, and Pascal Siakam went on to become All-Stars in subsequent seasons after winning the award.
Boris Diaw, Kevin Love, Pascal Siakam, and Giannis Antetokounmpo are the only winners who went on to become NBA Champions!
Tracy McGrady is the only Most Improved Player winner to be named to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame!
Is the NBA Most Improved Player Determined by Fan Vote?
The NBA Most Improved Player Award is determined by a panel of sportswriters across the United States and Canada. Each panel member is allowed a first-, second-, and third-place vote worth 5, 3, and 1 points respectively. The player with the highest point total wins the award.
Has There Ever Been a Unanimous Most Improved Player?
There has never been a unanimous winner of the Most Improved Player award. Victor Oladipo and Julius Randle are the closest to having been named unanimous winners, earning 99 and 98 first place votes respectively.
Have There Ever Been Joint Most Improved Player Winners?
There have never been joint Most Improved Player winners, nor have any players won the award multiple times.
Has an International Player Ever Won Most Improved Player?
👀 PASCAL SIAKAM’s 2018/19 Most Improved Player highlights! 🌶 pic.twitter.com/h9gNpBYa3l
— NBA Canada (@NBACanada) June 25, 2019
By nature of the NBA being an American league, the United States have dominated the Most Improved Player award. However, there have been six different non-American winners of the Most Improved Player award.
- Pascal Siakam – Cameroon (2019)
- Giannis Antetokounmpo – Greece (2017)
- Goran Dragic – Slovenia (2014)
- Hedo Turkoglu – Turkey (2008)
- Boris Diaw – France (2006)
- Gheroghe Muresan – Romania (1996)
Who Won the First NBA Most Improved Player Award?
“He would make your life miserable. He’s who I modeled my defense after.” – G. Payton
Alvin Robertson turns 58. DPOY, 4 x All-Star & one of the toughest defenders in NBA history
20 PTS, 11 REB, 10 AST, 10 STL
30 PTS, 10 STL, 6 AST
20 PTS, 10 STL, 7 AST
16 PTS, 10 STL, 9 AST pic.twitter.com/yRQ01QiwDc
— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) July 23, 2020
The first ever winner of the Most Improved Player Award was Alvin Robertson of the San Antonio Spurs. In just his second season, Robertson went on to average 17.0 points, 6.3 rebounds, 5.5 assists, and 3.7 steals per game after playing in all 82 games.
Robertson went on to become the 1986 Defensive Player of the Year, six-time All-Defensive Team member, a four-time All-Star, and three-time steals champion.
Which Position Has Won the Most Most Improved Player Awards?
Guards tend to have a great impact on the game, but the speed of the NBA tends to keep players from making an immediate impact.
Playmakers and defenders like Scott Skiles and Alvin Robertson just needed a few years to find their comfort and impact. However, pure scorers like Gilbert Arenas and Aaron Brooks needed to hone their skills as well as find the right fit for their game.
The forward position has seen the most growth through the history of the NBA, so it shouldn’t be a surprise to see so many winners of the Most Improved Player award.
Some players undergo an entire positional change like Boris Diaw and Giannis Antetokounmpo and almost reinvent their game. Others like Hedo Turkoglu and Pascal Siakam took a few years to realize their potential as unique talents.
Centers seem to be the least likely to win the Most Improved Player award. Through history they’ve been players dependent on their teammates to generate offence, especially if they don’t have immediate offensive talent.
There are rarely large jumps in skill or production amongst centers, but don’t count out the defensive and efficiency growth of centers as seen through Gheorghe Muresan and Kevin Duckworth.
Who is the Youngest Ever NBA Most Improved Player?
By nature of the Most Improved Player Award, the player pool for the award are at least in their sophomore season. Sometimes, one year is all it takes for a player to find their ground in the league.
In order, the five youngest winners of the Most Improved Player Award are:
|06-07||21||Monta Ellis||Guard||Golden State Warriors||26 October, 1985|
|00-01||21||Tracy McGrady||Guard/Forward||Orlando Magic||24 May, 1979|
|02-03||21||Gilbert Arenas||Guard||Golden State Warriors||6 January, 1982|
|10-11||22||Kevin Love||Forward||Minnesota Timberwolves||7 September, 1988|
|16-17||22||Giannis Antetokounmpo||Forward||Milwaukee Bucks||6 December, 1994|
Who is the Oldest Ever NBA Most Improved Player?
The Most Improved Player Award celebrates the work ethic of some of the NBA’s most notable players. Growth is not limited to age, as shown by a number of winners.
In order, the five oldest winners of the Most Improved Player Award are:
|98-99||30||Darrell Armstrong||Guard||Orlando Magic||22 June, 1968|
|07-08||28||Hedo Turkoglu||Forward||Orlando Magic||19 March, 1979|
|96-97||27||Isaac Austin||Center||Miami Heat||18 August, 1969|
|13-14||27||Goran Dragic||Guard||Phoenix Suns||6 May, 1986|
|94-95||27||Dana Barros||Guard||Philadelphia 76ers||13 April, 1967|
Which NBA Franchises Have Produced the Most NBA Most Improved Player Winners?
|Number of Awards||Team||Years|
|5||Indiana Pacers||2000, 2002, 2009, 2013, 2018|
|Orlando Magic||1991, 1999, 2001, 2008, 2012|
|3||Washington Bullets||1992, 1994, 1996|
|Phoenix Suns||1989, 2006, 2014|
|Portland Trail Blazers||1988, 2004, 2016|
|2||Miami Heat||1990, 1997|
|Golden State Warriors||2003, 2007|
|1||San Antonio Spurs||1986|
|New Orleans Pelicans||2020|
|New York Knicks||2021|
Which NBA Franchises Have Never Produced a Most Improved Player?
There are 10 teams that haven’t produced a Most Improved Player winner:
- Boston Celtics
- Brooklyn Nets
- Charlotte Hornets
- Cleveland Cavaliers
- Dallas Mavericks
- Detroit Pistons
- Los Angeles Lakers
- Oklahoma City Thunder
- Utah Jazz
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Christian Jope is a writer, social media strategist, and data analyst. A Queen’s University Alumni, Christian is an author and social media strategist with Raptors Cage, while also working closely with MLSE and Canada Basketball through community-driven events.
Email: [email protected]