2017 PBT Awards: Most Improved Player

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Kurt Helin

1. Giannis Antetokounmpo, Bucks

2. Rudy Gobert, Jazz

3. Isaiah Thomas, Celtics

While we expected improvement out of the Greek Freak this year, his trajectory skyrocketed to All-Star/All-NBA level player when he was made a point-forward by Jason Kidd. He ran away with this award for me. Rudy Gobert’s offensive game made a huge leap this season, and Isaiah Thomas’ offensive improvement — when everyone knew he would be the guy with the ball — kept him ahead of Kemba Walker and other deserving candidates.

Note: Helin has an official ballot this year.

Dan Feldman

1. Giannis Antetokounmpo, Bucks

2. Rudy Gobert, Jazz

3. Nikola Jokic, Nuggets

Giannis Antetokounmpo should run away with this award. There are only two (invalid) reasons not to pick him: He was overrated last year, and he was so good, so quickly to begin this season, it’s easy to forget he hasn’t long been elite.

Rudy Gobert (far more effective offensively, somehow even better defensively) and Nikola Jokic (easing into an offensive focal point while improving efficiency) add to a relatively star-studded cast of candidates that also includes Isaiah Thomas, Bradley Beal, Jimmy Butler and Russell Westbrook. Another player who didn’t draw All-Star consideration for this award but also deserves mention: Myles Turner.

Dane Carbaugh

1. Giannis Antetokounmpo, Bucks

2. Nikola Jokic, Nuggets

3. Myles Turner, Pacers

Giannis beats out Jokic here for me simply because of the jump he’s made while playing heavy minutes. This is the third year Antetokounmpo has been a starter, yet somehow he’s added 8.5 points, 1.5 assists, 1.4 rebounds, and 0.7 blocks per-100 to his production. That’s more impressive than Jokic, who is wildly exciting and great as a full-time starter, but who hasn’t made the same contextual leap. Myles Turner gets a nod here for me too because of the gap at the No. 3 spot and because of his steadying offensive game.