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Lauri Markkanen wins 2022-23 Most Improved Player award

The Jazz forward put together his best season ever.

Utah Jazz v Brooklyn Nets
Lauri Markkanen of the Utah Jazz looks on during the game against the Brooklyn Nets on April 2, 2023 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

Utah Jazz forward Lauri Markkanen has won the league’s Most Improved Player award for the 2022-23 season. Markkanen put together a career season after being traded to the Jazz in the Donovan Mitchell deal.

Markkanen averaged 25.6 points and 8.6 rebounds per game this season while leading the Jazz to a competitive 37-45 mark relative to their expectations entering the season. Markkanen also posted 50/39/87 shooting splits in a banner season. He’s under contract for two more seasons with the Jazz and is sure to be a key piece of their rebuild in this new era.

Markkanen beat out fellow finalists Jalen Brunson and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, largely because the two guards are more proven commodities in the NBA. Brunson did have a banner season in New York, with SGA took the Thunder to the play-in tournament in a year everyone thought they would tank. However, no one quite burst onto the scene like Markkanen did. He received 430 points and 69 first-place votes. SGA finished second with 289 points and Brunson was third with 91 points.