NEW YORK – The Portland Trail Blazers’ CJ McCollum, who more than tripled his scoring average from the previous season, is the winner of the 2015-16 Kia NBA Most Improved Player Award, the NBA announced today. The 6-4 guard joins Kevin Duckworth (1987-88) and Zach Randolph (2003-04) as the only Trail Blazers to earn the award, which is designed to honor an up-and-coming player who has made a dramatic improvement from the previous season or seasons.
McCollum received 101 first-place votes and 559 total points from a panel of 130 sportswriters and broadcasters throughout the United States and Canada. Kemba Walker of the Charlotte Hornets (seven first-place votes, 166 points) and Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks (four first-place votes, 99 points) finished second and third, respectively. Players were awarded five points for each first-place vote, three points for each second-place vote and one point for each third-place vote.
McCollum averaged a career-high 20.8 points (18th in the NBA) in his third season since being selected by the Trail Blazers with the 10th pick of NBA Draft 2013 presented by State Farm. He raised his scoring average by 14 points from last season’s 6.8, the largest increase (minimum 40 games each season) since Tony Campbell improved by 17 points from 1988-89 (6.2) to 1989-90 (23.2). McCollum established career highs in field goal percentage (44.8), three-point field goal percentage (41.7, eighth in the NBA), assists (4.3 apg) and rebounds (3.2 rpg), helping Portland make the playoffs for the third consecutive year.
Last season, McCollum appeared in 62 games (three starts) and averaged 15.7 minutes. He scored in double figures 18 times and reached the 20-point mark three times. This season, as one of four new starters for Portland, McCollum hit double figures in 79 of his 80 games, scored at least 20 points in 40 games and notched eight 30-point games. McCollum ranked ninth in the NBA with 197 three-pointers made, and he teamed with Damian Lillard to form the league’s third-highest scoring duo (45.9 ppg).
As part of its support of the Kia NBA Most Improved Player Award, Kia Motors America (KMA) will donate a brand new Sorento CUV to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Portland Metro on McCollum’s behalf. Kia will present a 2016 Sorento to the charity of choice of each of five 2015-16 year-end award winners as part of the Kia NBA Performance Awards. Following this season, Kia will have donated a total of 43 new vehicles to charitable organizations since its support of the NBA’s prestigious honors began in 2008.
The 2015-16 Kia NBA Most Improved Player Award is part of a series of on-court performance awards called the Kia NBA Performance Awards. The series, in its ninth season, is part of a multiyear marketing partnership between Kia Motors and the NBA, and includes five of the league’s most prestigious year-end honors: Kia Most Valuable Player, Kia Defensive Player of the Year, Kia Sixth Man, Kia Most Improved Player and Kia Rookie of the Year. The series also includes the Kia NBA Eastern and Western Conference Rookies of the Month and the Kia NBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Month during the regular season. Kia Motors is the Official Automotive Partner of the NBA and the Kia Optima is the league’s Official Vehicle. For more information, please visit www.kia.com/NBA.
Below are the balloting results for the 2015-16 Kia NBA Most Improved Player Award. The balloting was tabulated by the independent accounting firm of Ernst & Young LLP.
2015-16 KIA NBA MOST IMPROVED PLAYER AWARD
|Player||Team||1st Place (5 Pts)||2nd Place (3 Pts)||3rd Place (1 Pt)||Total|
|Stephen Curry||Golden State||7||13||9||83|
|Draymond Green||Golden State||2||10||3||43|
|Kawhi Leonard||San Antonio||1||2||7||18|
|Russell Westbrook||Oklahoma City||—||1||—||3|
|Reggie Jackson||Oklahoma City||—||—||3||3|
Below is the all-time list of winners:
ALL-TIME KIA NBA MOST IMPROVED PLAYER AWARD 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
2015-16 CJ McCollum, Portland