NBA Awards Watch: Most Improved Player

By Mike Elworth. Follow Mike @MikeElworth24. For site updates follow @walterfootball.

Six weeks into 2016 NBA Season, this is my second NBA Awards Watch. I had an offseason version with LeBron James as the MVP, Steve Kerr as the Coach of the Year, Marcus Smart as the Most Improved Player, Marc Gasol as the Defensive Player of the Year, Jahlil Okafor as the Rookie of the Year and Joakim Noah as the Sixth Man of the Year. Regardless, these are my picks now, enjoy.

  1. Andre Drummond, Detroit Pistons
    Andre Drummond has gone from one of the best young players in the league to the best center in the NBA, and he is the NBA’s best big man this season. He also is the NBA’s best rebounder, an excellent defender and a strong scorer, who could become a 20-point scorer if he improves his free-throw shooting.

  2. C.J. McCollum, Portland Trail Blazers
    McCollum in his third season has become the second foundation piece for the Blazers, giving them one of the best guard duos in the NBA with Damian Lillard. From a mediocre sixth man to an excellent starter, McCollum’s scoring has gone from seven to 20 points and his assists from one to four, and he is showing the combo guard skills and elite scoring he was expected to have as a rookie.

  3. Kawhi Leonard, San Antonio Spurs
    Leonard has become one of the 10 best players in the NBA and the best player on the second-best team in the NBA; not shabby. He’s gone from excellent to elite and is a real candidate to win this award.

  4. Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks
    Antetokounmpo in season three has improved his scoring and efficiency, and he is becoming more of a play-maker. The Bucks are struggling, but this team seems to be his, and he had a triple-double in their big win against the Warriors.

  5. Bradley Beal, Washington Bullets
    Beal is injured, but he has become elite in his fourth season and has given the Wizards easily the best guard duo in the East, and arguably second in the NBA (Golden State), with John Wall. Beal is now one of the best shooting guards in the game.

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