Plenty of players could capture the Most Improved Player of the Year award (MIP) this season, but Bam Adebayo of the Miami Heat deserves it more than anyone else. In a loaded class of candidates, Adebayo separated himself by playing elite defense for a winning team. He’s on the path to stardom.
The third-year big man from Kentucky played in all 65 of Miami’s games before the league suspended play because of COVID-19. He started every game and earned an All-Star bid. Regardless of how the remainder of the season plays out in Florida, Adebayo should take home the MIP award this year.
Several other young players emerged as premier MIP candidates. Pascal Siakam, who won the award last year, took another significant step forward this season. He, Luka Dončić, Brandon Ingram, Jayson Tatum, and Trae Young all made the All-Star game for the first time this past season.
Besides the first-time All-Stars, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Devonte’ Graham also deserve some attention for their leaps in 2019. Those two join the most crowded MIP class in recent history.
However, Adebayo should remain victorious in this elite class of MIP candidates based on his accomplishments with the Heat.