Chicago Bulls' guard Jimmy Butler wins 2014-2015 NBA Most Improved Player Award

May 7, 2015

The Chicago Bulls’ Jimmy Butler, an excellent two-way swingman who earned his first All-Star selection and set career highs in scoring, rebounding and assists, has won the 2014-15 NBA Most Improved Player Award, the NBA announced today. Butler becomes the first Chicago Bulls player to win the award.

Butler, in his fourth NBA season, averaged 20.0 points (15th in the NBA), 5.8 rebounds, 3.3 assists, and 1.75 steals (11th in the NBA) in a league-leading 38.7 minutes for a Chicago team that went 50-32 and secured the third seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs.

The 6-7 guard shot 46.2 percent from the field and 37.8 percent from three-point range. He also ranked seventh in the league in free throw attempts with 463 and converted a career-high 83.4 percent from the foul line in 65 games.

Last season, Butler averaged the same number of minutes and scored 13.1 points per game on 39.7 percent shooting from the field. His 6.9-point increase from 2013-14 to this season was the highest among all players who appeared in at least 40 games in each season, and his 6.5-percent improvement in field goal accuracy ranked second among players with at least 600 attempts in each season (Golden State’s Harrison Barnes improved by 8.3 percent).

Butler, 25, received 92 of 129 first-place votes from a panel of journalists.  Draymond Green of the Golden State Warriors and Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz finished second and third, respectively.

Other players receiving votes were Hassan Whiteside, Klay Thompson, Anthony Davis, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Donatas Motiejunas, Dennis Schröder, DeMarre Carroll, Tyler Zeller, DeMarcus Cousins, Khris Middleton, Kyrie Irving, Victor Oladipo, DeAndre Jordan, Jae Crowder, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Nikola Vucevic, Robert Covington, Tyreke Evans, Derrick Favors, Marc Gasol, Tobias Harris, Gordon Hayward, George Hill, Enes Kanter, Brandon Knight, Kawhi Leonard, and Meyers Leonard.

The award is designed to honor an up-and-coming player who has made a dramatic improvement from the previous season or seasons.

Below is the all-time list of winners:

1985-86            Alvin Robertson, San Antonio
1986-87            Dale Ellis, Seattle
1987-88            Kevin Duckworth, Portland
1988-89            Kevin Johnson, Phoenix
1989-90            Rony Seikaly, Miami
1990-91            Scott Skiles, Orlando
1991-92            Pervis Ellison, Washington
1992-93            Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf, Denver
1993-94            Don MacLean, Washington
1994-95            Dana Barros, Philadelphia
1995-96            Gheorghe Muresan, Washington
1996-97            Isaac Austin, Miami
1997-98            Alan Henderson, Atlanta
1998-99            Darrell Armstrong, Orlando
1999-00            Jalen Rose, Indiana
2000-01            Tracy McGrady, Orlando
2001-02            Jermaine O’Neal, Indiana
2002-03            Gilbert Arenas, Golden State
2003-04            Zach Randolph, Portland
2004-05            Bobby Simmons, L.A. Clippers
2005-06            Boris Diaw, Phoenix
2006-07            Monta Ellis, Golden State
2007-08            Hedo Turkoglu, Orlando
2008-09            Danny Granger, Indiana
2009-10            Aaron Brooks, Houston
2010-11            Kevin Love, Minnesota
2011-12            Ryan Anderson, Orlando
2012-13            Paul George, Indiana
2013-14            Goran Dragic, Phoenix
2014-15            Jimmy Butler, Chicago

By Staff of and news services

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