Trae Young finished ninth in NBA Most Improved Player voting.
Over a year after coming in second place in Rookie of the Year voting, Trae Young got some recognition by voters once again. The Atlanta Hawks point guard, who saw his points per game average jump from 19.1 to 29.6, got a handful of Most Improved Player votes.
Young received two second-place votes and four third-place votes, leaving him when ten total points. While no one thought Young was going to win the award (he wasn’t even announced as a finalist), the ninth-place finish seems low.
Perhaps it’s because Young was already playing at a high-level last season, but only one player (Devonte’ Graham, who finished fourth) had a higher points per game rise between last season and this season.
Young also saw minor yet important boosts to his assists, rebounds, and shooting percentage from his rookie season.
The fact that he’s arguably the worst defender in the league (to play major minutes) and the lack of team success likely had an influence on the relatively low vote count. It would be interesting to see how Young would have fared if voting took place back in March, as voters have also not seen him play in over five months.
It’s the second straight year wherein a member of the Hawks finished ninth in MIP voting, with John Collins earning that honor last year. If JC hadn’t been suspended 25 games early this season, he very well have got some votes this year as well.
It’ll be interesting to see Trae Young does the rest of the Awards season, especially when it comes to the All-NBA teams. On paper, he should be a lock, but with guys like LeBron James, Ben Simmons, and Luka Doncic being classified as guards, he may be on the bubble. We broke down his full chances earlier, which you can find below.
Should Trae Young have gotten more MIP votes?