NBA Most Improved Player Odds & Picks

With a stellar performance in the 2022-23 NBA Season, all eyes are on the skyrocketing Lauri Markkannen of the Brooklyn Nets. Now’s your chance to watch who will follow in the footsteps of Lauri Markkanen of the Utah Jazz and other NBA greats as they climb the much-coveted All-Star ladder.

Read our comprehensive NBA Most Improved Player odds and place your bets on who will be this season’s MIP Awardee. Let’s start with three of the NBA’s most improved players with the best chances of landing the 2023-24 season title.

NBA Most Improved Player odds and picks

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Mikal Bridges (+700)

Brooklyn saw brilliance in Mikal Bridges when they took him from the Suns before the 2022-23 season. He didn’t disappoint. From 17.2 PPG to 26.1 points per game, Bridges has become one of the Nets’ most reliable players. He was better at rebounds (4.5 vs. 4.3) but took a hit in assists (2.7 vs. 3.6).

Only in his second year with the Nets, after having been drafted 10th overall by the Phoenix Suns straight from Villanova in 2018 and sent to Brooklyn about three-fourths into the 2022-23 season, Bridges continued to show consistency on the floor. His field goal percentage increased by 1.2 percentage points after the transfer.

The new 2023-24 NBA season should open more opportunities for the shooting guard to solidify his standing in the Most Improved Player race.

Austin Reaves (+1000)

The LA Lakers’ breakout star is joining the race, who has been phenomenal in the 2022-23 postseason. With 16.5 points, 5.0 assists, and 3.0 rebounds, Reaves is a contender for the title with +1000 odds.

Reaves’ first 36 games saw him chalk up 10.8 PPG. The final 27 games saw Reaves put the gas on the pedal. He has been productive in the postseason, where the Lakers found themselves face-to-face with eventual NBA Champions Denver Nuggets. In Reeves’ 16 postseason appearances, he was phenomenal on seven occasions, chipping in more than 20 points and eventually finishing the postseason with 16.9 PPG.

Cade Cunningham (+1300)

The Detroit Pistons’ entry into the MIP race enjoys the odds +1300. The then-sophomore Cunningham posted 19.9 points per game, six assists, and 6.2 rebounds, improving from his rookie 2021-22’s season averages of 17.4 points, 5.6 assists, and 5.5 rebounds.

Although a shin surgery cut short Cunningham’s 2022-23 season, his numbers remain impressive. Many expect Monty Williams to harness Cunningham’s All-Star potential in his third year this coming 2023-24 season. The only obstacle to Cunningham’s MIP pursuit is the team’s newest additions, Ausar Thompson and Jaden Ivey.

Favorites to Win NBA Most Improved Player

Mikal Bridges remains the hands-down favorite to win the NBA Most Improved Player award for the coming season. Austin Reaves and Cade Cunningham are just a little behind. Other players who are in the running for the Most Improved Player Award include the following.

Alperen Sengun (+1600)

Although Sengun’s production cannot compare to Mikal Bridges or even the reigning MIP Lauri Markkanen, this Rocket is out to prove his worth. Many consider the 2022-23 season Sengun’s breakout season, posting 14.8 PPG in 75 games. That’s a significant improvement from the 9.6 PPG the year before. His rebounds and assists improved from 5.5 to 9.0 and 2.6 to 3.9, respectively.

Scottie Barnes (+1800)

This Raptor has a stagnant points production but improved in the assists department (from 3.5 to 4.8). Barnes’ defensive acumen also dipped from 7.5 in 2021-22 to 6.6 in 2022-23. Still, NBA fans and sportswriters must act quickly for the 2023-24 season, giving Barnes more opportunity to showcase his prowess.

Josh Giddey (+2000)

Here’s an NBA player worth watching this 2023-24 season. With a 4.1 increase in points production from 12.5 in the 2021-22 season to 16.6 PPG this season, everyone is hopeful 2023-24 will be a breakout time for Giddey. Although 6.2 and 7.9 are impressive numbers, Giddey can still improve in the assists and rebounds department.

Understanding NBA Most Improved Player Odds

Only a few people understand how NBA Most Improved Player odds work. Each NBA player has a number after his name, preceded by a minus (-) or a plus (+) sign. For example, “Lauri Markkanen -330.”

A number with a (+) sign shows how much you can win for every $100 bet. For instance, betting on an NBA player with a +200 odds means a potential $200 winnings when you wager $100.

On the other hand, a (-) sign denotes risks. You must wager the number to win $100. For example, an NBA player with a “-1,000” odds requires you to bet $1,000 to win $100.

NBA MIP Betting Trends

Betting on MIP futures requires considering some betting trends.

  • 55% of the NBA Most Improved Player Awardees play the Forward position.
  • 34% of MIP winners play the Guard position.
  • Only four Centers won the MIP Awards.
  • Every time an Orlando Magic player wins the NBA Most Improved Player Award, the winner of the following MIP award always comes from the Indiana Pacers. Such a coincidence has been observed since 1999.
  • 90% of past Most Improved Player winners showed a dramatic improvement in points-per-game production, with at least 20 PPGs.

NBA Most Improved Player History

The NBA introduced the Most Improved Player Award in the 1985-86 season, with San Antonio Spurs guard Alvin Robertson winning the plum after an impressive season.

The Award recognizes NBA players’ progress as professional basketballers, comparing their stats to previous seasons. US and Canadian sportswriters analyze each MIP contender’s performance and rank them. The first place (Top 1) receives five points, while the second (Top 2) and third (Top 3) places receive three and one points, respectively.

The NBA player who receives the most Top 1 scores wins, owing to its 5-point weight.

The following are the Most Improved Player winners from 1985-86.

  • 1985-86 – Alvin Robertson
  • 1986-87 – Dale Ellis
  • 1987-88 – Kevin Duckworth
  • 1988-89 – Kevin Johnson
  • 1989-90 – Rony Seikaly
  • 1990-91 – Scott Skiles
  • 1991-92 – Pervis Ellison
  • 1992-93 – Chris Jackson
  • 1993-94 – Don McLean
  • 1994-95 – Dana Barros
  • 1995-96 – Gheorghe Muresan
  • 1996-97 – Isaac Austin
  • 1997-98 – Alan Henderson
  • 1998-99 – Darrell Armstrong
  • 1999-00 – Jalen Rose
  • 2000-01 – Tracy McGrady
  • 2001-02 – Jermaine O’Neal
  • 2002-03 – Gilbert Arenas
  • 2003-04 – Zach Randolph
  • 2004-05 – Bobby Simmons
  • 2005-06 – Boris Diaw
  • 2006-07 – Monta Ellis
  • 2007-08 – Hedo Turkoglu
  • 2008-09 – Danny Granger
  • 2009-10 – Aaron Brooks
  • 2010-11 – Kevin Love
  • 2011-12 – Ryan Anderson
  • 2012-13 – Paul George
  • 2013-14 – Goran Dragic
  • 2014-15 – Jimmy Butler
  • 2015-16 – CJ McCollum
  • 2016-17 – Giannis Antetokounmpo
  • 2017-18 – Victor Oladipo
  • 2018-19 – Pascal Siakam
  • 2019-20 – Brandon Ingram
  • 2020-21 – Julius Randle
  • 2021-22 – Ja Morant
  • 2022-23 – Lauri Markkanen

NBA Most Improved Player Odds FAQ

Which NBA player is the reigning MIP?

Laure Markkanen is the reigning Most Improved Player.

Which NBA team produced the most MIPs?

The Orlando Magic and Indiana Pacers share the distinction of having produced five Most Improved Players each.

Who are the 2023 NBA Most Improved Player Award contenders?

NBA Most Improved Player Award Contenders (2023)

Here are the contenders for the NBA Most Improved Player Award.

Mikal Bridges – 6-6, 209 lb (198 cm, 94 kg) – United States

Although Bridges only played 27 games for his new team, the Brooklyn Nets, in the 2022-23 season, he already made the Suns regret their decision. Bridges upped his game by chalking up 26.1 points per game, a huge bump from his 17.2 PPG performance in Phoenix.

His rebounding also improved from 4.3 to 4.5. There’s a growth opportunity in Bridges’ beyond-the-arc marksmanship if he can surpass his 38.7% 3-point-shooting average as a Sun.

Austin Reaves – 6-5, 197 lb (196 cm, 89 kg) – United States

Reaves might not have Lauri Markkanen’s physique, but his work ethic is admirable. Many experts believe if the Lakers duo of James and Davis need a reliable backup, Reaves would be it.

His regular season stats are not worthy of the MIP plum. However, Reaves’ postseason exploits deserve merit. Playing 16 playoff games, Reaves averaged 16.9 PPG, 4.4 RPG, and 4.6 APG.

Cade Cunningham – 6-6, 220 lb (198 cm, 99 kg) – United States

Cunningham uses his beefy frame to muscle his way to the boards, with enough nimbleness to dish out assists to cutters. Although shy of the magic 20 points, Cunningham’s 2022-23 production is still better than his previous season (19.9 vs. 17.4 PPG). His defensive responsibilities and lane marshaling duties also improved from 5.5 to 6.2 and 5.6 to 6.0, respectively.

NBA Most Improved Player Award Insights

Who is the favorite to win NBA Most Improved Player in 2024?

Brooklyn Nets Mikal Bridges remains the favorite in the race for the NBA Most Improved Player Award for 2023-24. The sweet-shooting guard with small forward prowess churned impressive numbers in the previous season.

Who are the 2024 NBA Most Improved Player Award contenders?

Besides Mikal Bridges (guard-forward) of the Brooklyn Nets, the Lakers’ Austin Reaves, the Pistons’ Cade Cunningham, and the Rockets’ Alperen Sengun can take the fight to earn the right to the Most Improved Player crown.

Who was the 2022 NBA Most Improved Player?

Two-time NBA All-Star guard Ja Morant was the Most Improved Player for the 2021-22 season. Morant played an average of 33.1 minutes on the floor, shooting 27.4 points, hauling 5.7 rebounds, and dishing out 6.7 assists.

These figures were a 49.3% improvement from the previous season, solidifying his marksmanship beyond the arc at 34.4%. Morant earned 38 Top-1 votes, edging the Spurs’ Dejounte Murray, who only garnered 20 Top-1 ballots.

When will the NBA Most Improved Player be announced?

The NBA typically announces the MIP Award in April. For instance, the NBA announced the 2022-23 NBA MIP last 24th of April, 2023. Meanwhile, the 2021-22 season’s Most Improved Player was revealed on the 25th of April, 2022. Hence, NBA fans can expect the 2023-24 MIP announcement in the 3rd week of April 2024.

Does the NBA’s Most Improved Player receive a prize?

Yes, the NBA’s Most Improved Player receives a prize – the George Mikan Trophy. However, it is worth noting that the NBA only started giving the trophy during the 2022-23 MIP Award ceremony. Thirty-five previous MIP Awardees did not receive any.

Have any Most Improved Player winners become All-Stars?

Twenty-two Most Improved Player awards became NBA All-Stars. Fifteen did it in the same season as they received their MIP accolades. Seven barged into the sought-after All-Star in later seasons.

The 15 MIP winners who became All-Stars in the same season are the following.

  • 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
  • Ja Morant
  • Lauri Markkanen

The seven NBA Most Improved Players who later became All-Stars include the following.

  • Dale Ellis (All-Star in 1988-89)
  • Kevin Duckworth (All-Star in 1989-90)
  • Kevin Johnson (All-Star in 1989-90)
  • Gilbert Arenas (All-Star in 2004-05)
  • Zach Randolph (All-Star in 20009-10)
  • Goran Dragic (All-Star in 2017-18)
  • Pascal Siakam (All-Star in 2019-20)
Does fan vote determine the NBA’s Most Valuable Player?

Yes, fans can cast their ballots to support their NBA players vying for the title of Most Valuable Player. On the other hand, only US and Canadian sportswriters can assign points (5 points for the Top 1, 3 points for the Top 2, and 1 point for the Top 3) to NBA Most Improved Player contenders.

Has there ever been a unanimous Most Improved Player?

No player has ever won the NBA Most Improved Player Award unanimously. However, Indiana Pacers guard Victor Oladipo narrowly edged then-LA Lakers forward Julius Randle by a single point (99 vs. 98 points).

Have there ever been joint Most Improved Player winners?

No, never in the NBA’s history has two players shared the Most Improved Player title in the same season.

Has an international player ever won Most Improved Player?

Yes, eight NBA players were recipients of the Most Improved Player Award. Besides Finland’s Markkanen, international NBA players who won the MIP award included the following.

  • Rony Seikaly (Lebanon)
  • Gheorghe Muresan (Romania)
  • Boris Diaw (France)
  • Hedo Torkuglu (Turkey)
  • Goran Dragic (Slovenia)
  • Giannis Antetokounmpo (Greece)
  • Pascal Siakam (Cameroon)
Who won the first NBA Most Improved Player Award?

The first NBA Most Improved Player Awardee was the San Antonio Spurs’ guard Alvin Robertson, who won the plum in the 1985-86 season.

Which position has won the majority of the Most Improved Player of the Year Awards?

Of the 38 NBA Most Improved Player awardees from 1985-86 to 2022-23, 21 players played the Forward position (including Forward/Guard and Center/Forward). Excluding guard/forward players, 13 MIP Awardees played the Guard position. Meanwhile, only four were Centers (excluding Forward/Center players).

Who is the youngest-ever NBA Most Improved Player?

Tracy McGrady (G/F, Orlando Magic, 2000-01), Gilbert Arenas (G, Golden State Warriors, 2002-03), and Monta Ellis (G, Golden State Warriors, 2006-07) were only 21 when they won the NBA Most Improved Player award, tying for the youngest ever player to achieve the feat.

McGrady was nearly unstoppable in the 2000-01 NBA Season, posting 26.8 points per game while dishing out 4.6 assists and hauling 7.5 rebounds. McGrady’s exploits earned him a spot at the All-Star Game while steering the Magic into the season-ending NBA Playoffs.

Meanwhile, Arenas showed consistent brilliance on the floor, averaging 18.3 points, 4.7 boards, and 6.3 dishes as a starter for the Warriors.

Four years after Arenas bagged the MIP Award in the 2002-03 season, Ellis upped the ante of his game by ten points a game for an impressive 16.5 – 3.2 – 4.1 (points-rebounds-assists) data sheet en route to the MIP crown in 2006-07.

Who is the oldest-ever NBA Most Improved player?

Orlando Magic guard Darrell Armstrong was 30 when he won the NBA Most Improved Player title in the 1998-99 season. The Magic signed the then-26-year-old Armstrong in 1994 after playing for various teams outside the US. Armstrong played 840 NBA games across five franchises, averaging 9.2 points per game, four assists, and 2.7 rebounds.

Although Armstrong’s 1998-99 stats weren’t the highest in his career (the highest was the following season with a 16.2-point, 6.1-assist, and 3.3-rebound card), hauling 3.6 boards, dishing out 6.7 assists, and finishing the season with 13.8-point average is sufficient to earn him the MIP title.

Which NBA franchises have produced the most NBA Most Improved Player winners?

The Indiana Pacers and Orlando Magic tie for the most NBA MIPs produced with five.

The Pacers had Jalen Rose (1999-2000), Jermaine O’Neal (2001-02), Danny Granger (2008-09), Paul George (2012-13), and Victor Oladipo (2017-18).

Meanwhile, the Magic’s MIP awardees included Scott Skiles (1990-91), Darrell Armstrong (1998-99), Tracy McGrady (2000-01), Hedo Torkuglu (2007-08), and Ryan Anderson (2011-12).

2023-24 NBA Most Improved Player Odds Tracker

Tracking NBA players with the highest likelihood of bagging the Most Improved Player Award this season is more straightforward than some folks believe.

2023-24 NBA Most Improved Player Odds

The following players have the best odds of winning the 2023 NBA Most Improved Player Award.

  • Mikal Bridges (+700)
  • Austin Reaves (+1000)
  • Cade Cunningham (+1300)
  • Alperen Sengun (+1600)
  • Scottie Barnes (+1800)
  • Josh Giddey (+2000)
  • Paolo Banchero (+2200)
  • Shaedon Sharpe (+2200)
  • Jalen Williams (+2200)
  • Walker Kessler (+2500)
Past 10 NBA Most Improved Player Award Winners

The ten NBA players most recently received the NBA Most Improved Player Award include the following.

  • Lauri Markkanen
  • Ja Morant
  • Julius Randle
  • Brandon Ingram
  • Pascal Siakam
  • Victor Oladipo
  • Giannis Antetokounmpo
  • CJ McCollum
  • Jimmy Butler
  • Goran Dragic