Rising Stars of the NBA: 2023 Most Improved Player Contenders

2023 NBA Most Improved Player: Top Contenders and Betting Odds

When it comes to the NBA, winning the Most Improved Player (MIP) Award holds a special significance among players. It’s a recognition of their dedication, growth, and impact on the court. As we look ahead to the 2023 season, there are several players who have caught our attention as potential contenders for the MIP award.

Tyrese Haliburton: The Top Contender

Leading the pack of potential MIP winners is Tyrese Haliburton of the Indiana Pacers. After an impressive performance last season, Haliburton has emerged as the betting favorite with odds of +1200, according to DraftKings. Following his trade from the Sacramento Kings to the Pacers, Haliburton excelled, showcasing his skills and versatility on the court. With head coach Rick Carlisle’s plan to run the offense through him, Haliburton has the opportunity to make a big impact in the upcoming season.

The Strong Contenders

While Haliburton is the favorite, there are other players with promising odds and potential to win the MIP award:

  • Anthony Edwards (+1500) – Known as “Ant Man,” Edwards had a standout season with the Minnesota Timberwolves. His impressive performance, averaging 21.3 points per game, makes him a strong contender for the MIP award.
  • Jalen Brunson (+1500) – After joining the New York Knicks as a free agent, Brunson has the chance to shine as their point guard. No longer playing second fiddle, Brunson aims to showcase his playmaking abilities and make a significant impact on the court.
  • Cade Cunningham (+2000) – As the #1 pick in the 2021 NBA Draft, Cunningham had a slow start with the Detroit Pistons. However, he gained momentum as the season progressed, demonstrating his scoring, assists, and rebounding capabilities. Cunningham has the potential to make strides in his second season and compete for the MIP award.
  • RJ Barrett (+2000) – Barrett’s consistent improvement season after season with the New York Knicks has caught the attention of many. Despite the struggles of his team, Barrett’s solid performance, averaging 20 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 3.1 assists per game, makes him a contender for the MIP award.
  • Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (+2000) – With the Oklahoma City Thunder, Gilgeous-Alexander has consistently developed his game. His scoring ability and all-around skills make him a potential candidate for the MIP award in the 2023 season.

Dark Horses and Rising Stars

As we analyze the potential MIP winners, we must also consider the dark horses and rising stars who could surprise us all:

  • Josh Giddey (+3500) – Representing the Oklahoma City Thunder, Giddey has a bright future ahead. As a rookie, he already set records as the youngest player to post a triple-double and back-to-back triple-doubles. With further development and improved shooting, Giddey could be a formidable contender for the MIP award.
  • Jordan Poole (+2500) – Poole has shown glimpses of his potential with the Golden State Warriors. With increased playing time and a chance to further contribute to the team, Poole could surprise everyone and emerge as a dark horse MIP candidate.
  • Anfernee Simons (+2500) – Simons, playing for the Portland Trail Blazers, has displayed flashes of brilliance throughout his career. The forthcoming season presents an opportunity for him to take a big step forward and compete for the MIP award.


The race for the 2023 NBA Most Improved Player award is an exciting one, with several contenders who have the potential to make significant strides in their game. Tyrese Haliburton leads the pack as the favorite, but Anthony Edwards, Jalen Brunson, Cade Cunningham, and RJ Barrett are also strong contenders. Dark horses like Josh Giddey, Jordan Poole, and Anfernee Simons should not be overlooked, as they have the skills and potential to surprise us all.


1. What criteria are considered for the Most Improved Player award?

The Most Improved Player award takes into account a player’s growth, improvement in performance compared to previous seasons, and the impact they have made on their team.

2. Has a player ever won the Most Improved Player award multiple times?

Yes, several players have won the Most Improved Player award more than once in their careers. Notable examples include Steve Nash, Kevin Love, and Giannis Antetokounmpo.

3. How is the Most Improved Player selected?

The Most Improved Player is typically selected through a voting process involving media members, players, and coaches. The player who receives the most votes is declared the winner of the award.

4. Can a player win the Most Improved Player award without being a top scorer?

Absolutely. The Most Improved Player award is not solely based on scoring numbers. It takes into account a player’s overall improvement in various areas of their game, including scoring, rebounding, assists, defense, and overall impact on the team.

5. Is the Most Improved Player award considered a prestigious honor?

While individual awards hold different levels of significance for players, the Most Improved Player award is widely respected and recognized within the basketball community. It acknowledges a player’s hard work and dedication to their craft, highlighting their growth and impact on the court.

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