De’Aaron Fox made a name for himself outside of Kentucky and his home state of Texas this past season, practically doubling his production from his rookie season to his sophomore campaign. He improved his scoring as a member of the Sacramento Kings by 5.7 points, his assists by 2.9, and his three-point percentage by 6.4 percent.
So it wasn’t much of a surprise to see Fox’s name listed as one of the three candidates to win the NBA’s Most Improved Player award, which was announced at the NBA Awards show on Monday. Along with Toronto Raptors forward Pascal Siakam and Brooklyn Nets forward De’Aneglo Russell, Fox improved his game to the point of league-wide recognition.
Unfortunately, Siakam was (deservedly) named the winner with Russell coming in second and Fox in third.
You can see the entire voting results below.
As you can see, Fox received only one first-place vote, 13 second-place votes, and 33 third-place votes. Siakam garnered 86 first-place votes and 469 overall points compared to only 77 overall points for Fox.
Personally, I would have put Buddy Hield (Fox’s teammate in Sacramento) over both Fox and Russell, but that’s my terrible opinion that I know you’ll probably hate. I have a hard time giving an award to a player (Fox) who had a below-average rookie season as a lottery pick and then came into his own the next season. That should just be his natural rate of progression as an NBA point guard. Now, I can confidently say that I didn’t expect him to be this good, as he was in year two, but I definitely didn’t expect the season we saw out of Hield, Russell, and Siakam, either.
I’d also like to point out that Willie Cauley-Stein – another Kings player – received one third-place vote courtesy of Dennis Scott, a former NBA veteran who currently works as a commentator for NBATV. No disrespect to either of WCS or Scott here, but if you watched the Kings all season and chose WCS as a more improved player than Fox or Hield, you either didn’t watch them, or you’re a liar.
Who is your BBNBA candidate to win MIP next season?