Minnesota Timberwolves' Andrew Wiggins is the NBA's Most Improved Player so far
After a hot start to the season, Andrew Wiggins is an early leader for the NBA's Most Improved Player of the year award. Statistically, Wiggins is having the best season of his career but he is also doing little things better and showing an effort that has been lacking in the past.
Last season Wiggins averaged 18.1 points, 4.8 rebounds, 2.5 assists, and .7 blocks. While that isn't terrible, it isn't exactly what you want out of a max contract player. This season he is averaging 25.5 points, 4.8 rebounds, 3.3 assists, and 1.1 blocks. Those are career highs for points, assists, and blocks. For rebounds he is tied with his career high from last season.
In addition to those numbers, Wiggins is scoring much more efficiently. He is shooting 47.3 percent from the field (career high) and 33.8 percent from three point which falls just short of his career high from last season of 33.9 percent from three. He is attacking the basket more than he ever has and is getting better looks because of his improved skill over last season and the coaching staff using him better.
Mark Gunnels called this prior to the season starting and took a lot of heat for it at the time. It's still early in the season but it isn't looking like a bad prediction at all.
Overall, Andrew Wiggins is getting it done on both sides of the ball. He has the highest offensive rating (114) and best defensive rating (110) of his career by a long shot.
Wiggins worked hard this past offseason on ball handing, attacking the basket, creating shots, and his moves with the ball. You can clearly see a difference on the court this season. This is a different Andrew Wiggins. You are seeing improved skill and amazing effort night in and night out.
Who else is a candidate for Most Improved Player
Gordon Hayward was getting a lot of early buzz as most improved player but injured his hand and is out for 6 weeks. We will see if he can get back into the conversation when he returns.
A surprising MIP candidate is Aaron Baynes of the Phoenix Suns. He is averaging ridiculous numbers right now and will give Wiggins a run for his money if he keeps this up. Baynes is currently averaging 15.8 points, 5.8 rebounds and 3.1 assists. He is shooting 59 percent from the field and an astonishing 47 percent from three. All five categories I listed are career highs for Baynes. I doubt he keeps playing at this level but I have to recognize what he is doing right now.