POSTED: May 7, 2015 11:51 AM ET
Butler Named 2014-15 Kia Most Improved Player
Jimmy Butler is presented with the Kia NBA Most Improved Player Award.
NEW YORK — The Chicago Bulls' Jimmy Butler, who earned his first All-Star selection and set career highs in scoring, rebounding and assists, has won the 2014-15 Kia NBA Most Improved Player Award, the NBA announced today. Butler becomes the first player to win the award with the Bulls.
The award is designed to honor an up-and-coming player who has made a dramatic improvement from the previous season or seasons. Butler, 25, received 92 of 129 first-place votes and 535 total points from a panel of sportswriters and broadcasters throughout the United States and Canada. Draymond Green of the Golden State Warriors (11 first-place votes, 200 points) and Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz (12 first-place votes, 189 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.
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).
As part of its support of the Kia NBA Most Improved Player Award, Kia Motors America (KMA) will donate an all-new and more capable than ever 2016 Kia Sorento LX CUV to a charity of Butler's choice on his behalf. Kia Motors presents a Sorento to the charity of choice of each of five 2014-15 year-end award winners as part of the Kia NBA Performance Awards. After this season, Kia Motors will have donated a total of 38 new vehicles to charitable organizations since its support of the NBA's prestigious honors began in 2008.
The 2014-15 Kia NBA Most Improved Player Award is part of the Kia NBA Performance Awards, a series of oncourt performance awards. The series, in its eighth season, is part of a multiyear marketing partnership between KMA 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 Award, 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 voting results for the 2014-15 Kia NBA Most Improved Player Award. The balloting was tabulated by the independent accounting firm of Ernst & Young LLP.
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