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.
Utah Jazz All-Star Lauri Markkanen has won the 2022-23 NBA Most Improved Player of the Year award.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) April 24, 2023
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.