Every season there are players who make unexpected jumps and flash potential of stardom. Let’s take a look at five players in the NBA that will most likely be the top candidates to win the Most Improved Player award.
Christian Wood has slowly emerged into not only one of the best bargain of this offseason but also an amazing starter. Wood has improved significantly every single season he’s played. Throughout Wood’s career, he has been a journeyman, he has played for six teams in six years. This season, however, Christian has proved that he can become a star in the NBA.
Christian has averaged 23.1 points so far this season almost doubling his previous season average of 13.1. Christian has been keeping the Rockets who just dealt James Harden excited about their future. He has gone from undrafted to being among the top scorers in the NBA this season. This is why Christian Wood is an early favorite to win the Most Improved Player award.
Despite being on a lackluster Pistons team, Jerami Grant has been a bright spot all season long. Jerami has been averaging 24.8 points while grabbing six rebounds per game. Jerami has made a huge jump and has proven he can be a reliable second or third option on NBA title-contending teams.
Grant has always flashed his potential but has been overshadowed by players like Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray. If Jerami can continue to play at this level he will definitely be a top-three candidate for Most Improved Player.
As of late, the Spurs have not looked like the team they once were when they had stars like Tim Duncan and Tony Parker. This franchise has been known for building through the draft and have found another gem in Keldon Johnson. In his rookie year, he didn’t play much and averaged 9.1 points in only 17 games. This season Johnson has been playing excellent starting in all twelve games so far averaging 14.8 points and 7.3 rebounds.
Even though this is only Keldon Johnson’s second season, he can be viewed as a most improved candidate because he has become one of the most impactful players on his team. Overall, Johnson should be a star player for years come and will be one of the building blocks for the Spurs franchise.
Malcolm Brogdon has always been a productive player in the NBA, but this season he has been on a tear. Brogdon was drafting in the second round and has definitely proven his worth as an NBA player.
This season Brogdon has been averaging 22.8 points and 7.4 assists leading the Pacers to an 8-4 record through twelve games. He has led the team in scoring proving that he can be a reliable option on a solid Eastern Conference team. He has gone from a role player in Milwaukee to a starting point guard on the Pacers.
If Brogdon, maintains this level of play, the Pacers will make the playoffs and Brogdon will be a candidate for the most improved player.
Boucher has proven that he is a starting-caliber center to begin the season. Boucher has never averaged more than 6.6 points per game and is now averaging 15.3 per game. He went undrafted in 2017 and has proven in his fourth season that he can become a great NBA player.
He has also helped the Raptors hold it down on the defensive side of the ball averaging 6.5 rebounds and 2.5 blocks per game. Boucher has excelled this season making him a dark horse to win the Most Improved Player award.