By: Kyle Caso (@3_Pointz)
The NBA's Most Improved Player Award has been given to the player who's made the biggest jump in performance from the previous year. Players such as Paul George, Kevin Love and Tracy McGrady are three of 28 players who have been given the honor of the reward in NBA history.
Here are some of the front running candidates to win the award this upcoming season:
Eric Bledsoe (Suns) - Eric Bledsoe has played behind one of the best point guards in the league for the last few years in Chris Paul and last year saw his minutes decrease even more because of former NBA superstar Chauncey Billups logging heavy minutes off the bench. This off season he was apart of a deal that would send him to the Phoenix Suns.
Eric will see big minutes in Phoenix although he will play behind Goran Dragic who was a preseason candidate to win the award last year. Goran Dragic didn't meet the high expectations last year so his starting job may be up for grabs but it is unlikely.
Chandler Parsons (Rockets) - Parsons is a member of the Houston Rockets, a team that might be a title contender. Parsons was in the running for the award last year, but since Paul George made the transition from a solid player to a star, players like Parson weren't even considered as real candidates by the end of the season.
Parsons averaged 15.5 PPG, 3.5 APG and 5.5 RPG during the 2012-13 season making major improvements from his rookie year and making him an overall good player. Depending on how Dwight Howard is used in the new Houston offense, you can expect Parsons scoring to go down a bit, but his FG% and assists should be sky high for a third year player.
Jeff Green (Celtics) - Jeff Green was technically traded for Ray Allen 7 years ago. The Seattle SuperSonics had the 2nd overall pick and were looking to add another young talent -- so they traded the future Hall of Famer to the Celtics, who had the 5th pick in the draft. Green spent three and a half years with the SuperSonics/Thunder before he was traded to the team that could have drafted him in the first place.
Green had played extremely good for the SuperSonics organization but when he was traded to the Celtics, his minutes fell down to career lows -- but now that Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett have been traded, Jeff Green will see minuets at the small forward position and the power forward position. Also another factor is that Rajon Rondo will be out likely until Christmas, putting the Celtics in Jeff Greens' hands for the first two months of play.
DeAndre Jordan (Clippers) - Just like Chandler Parsons, DeAndre Jordan also plays on a title contender with the Clippers. DeAndre has been in the league for 5 seasons and has much to improve on. DeAndre only averaged 8.8 PPG and 7.3 RPG. DeAndre showed in training camp that he was a much improved rebounder and made major adjustments on defense. I think its quite possible to see a 10 & 10 season with 2.0 BPG.
Dion Waiters (Cavaliers) - Dion Waiters was a surprise pick by the Cavs last year at number four. Waiters has gained a few pounds of muscle this season and has shown improved ball handling to get to the rim. Dion Waiters has been so strong going to the basket this preseason if he adds it to his suburb outside shooting this year, don't be surprised if he averages 20+ points per game.