Chicago Bulls swingman Jimmy Butler has been phenomenal all season long and he is going to be acknowledged for it.
Butler will win the Most Improved Player award, according to ESPN’s Marc Stein, edging out players like Draymond Green, Klay Thompson and Rudy Gobert for the honor.
Butler had a breakout year, going from defensive-minded role player to offensive focal point in a matter of months. He averaged 20 points, almost six rebounds and over three assists per game this season after logging 13 points, five rebounds and two and a half assists last year. His play was acknowledged with an All-Star berth, the first of his career.
Unlike other candidates who simply got more playing time, Butler truly improved on most facets of the game. He got to the line more often, his three-point shot became more reliable and his court vision and playmaking ability showed real growth. He was forced into a more prominent role by Derrick Rose’s various injuries and deliver the best performance of his young career, more than earning the distinction in the process.
He’s the first Chicago Bull to win the award and joins recent winners Goran Dragic, Paul George, Ryan Anderson and Kevin Love in the list of players who have taken a leap into stardom from one year to the next.