Hornets' Kemba Walker and Bucks' Giannis Antetokounmpo finished second and third, respectively
POSTED: Apr 22, 2016 3:03 PM ET
Portland's C.J. McCollum raised his scoring average by 14 points from last season's 6.8 points per game.
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.
2015-16 KIA NBA MOST IMPROVED PLAYER AWARD RESULTS
Player | Team | 1st place (5 pts) | 2nd place (3 pts) | 3rd place (1 pt) | Total Points
CJ McCollum | Portland Trail Blazers | 101 | 14 | 12 | 559
Kemba Walker | Charlotte Hornets | 7 | 37 | 20 | 166
Giannis Antetokounmpo | Milwaukee Bucks | 4 | 17 | 28 | 99
Stephen Curry | Golden State Warriors | 7 | 13 | 9 | 83
Will Barton | Denver Nuggets | 1 | 16 | 9 | 62
Jae Crowder | Boston Celtics | 1 | 8 | 16 | 45
Draymond Green | Golden State Warriors | 2 | 10 | 3 | 43
Isaiah Thomas | Boston Celtics | 3 | 3 | 6 | 30
Hassan Whiteside | Miami Heat | 1 | 6 | 3 | 26
Kawhi Leonard | San Antonio Spurs | 1 | 2 | 7 | 18
Andre Drummond | Detroit Pistons | 1 | 1 | 3 | 11
Gary Harris | Denver Nuggets | 1 | 0 | 1 | 6
Kent Bazemore | Atlanta Hawks | 0 | 1 | 1 | 4
Evan Fournier | Orlando Magic | 0 | 0 | 4 | 4
Rodney Hood | Utah Jazz | 0 | 1 | 0 | 3
Russell Westbrook | Oklahoma City Thunder | 0 | 1 | 0 | 3
Reggie Jackson | Detroit Pistons | 0 | 0 | 3 | 3
Ian Mahinmi | Indiana Pacers | 0 | 0 | 3 | 3
Zach LaVine | Minnesota Timberwolves | 0 | 0 | 1 | 1
Kyle Lowry | Toronto Raptors | 0 | 0 | 1 | 1