Jimmy Butler named Kia NBA Most Improved Player
May 7, 2015 — The NBA announced today that Jimmy Butler won the 2014-15 Kia NBA Most Improved Player Award. In his fourth season in the NBA, Butler posted career highs in scoring, rebounding and assists, and also made his first trip to the NBA All-Star Game as a reserve for the East. The Most Improved Player Award was created to recognize an up-and-coming player who has made a dramatic improvement from the previous season or seasons. Butler is the first Bull to win the award since its inception in 1985-86.
“We are all very proud of Jimmy. He is very deserving of this award,” said Chicago Bulls General Manager Gar Forman. “He is incredibly driven and it is great to see all of the work that he has put in pay off for him and for us.”
In 2014-15, Butler enjoyed his finest season in the NBA, as he improved his scoring from 13.1 to 20.0 ppg (15th in the NBA). His 6.9-point improvement from 2013-14 was the greatest among all players who appeared in at least 40 games in each of the last two seasons. He also raised his field goal shooting 6.5 percent (.397 to .462), which ranked second (Harrison Barnes with 8.3 percent: .399 to 482) among all players with at least 600 field goal attempts in each of the last two seasons.
Overall, the 25-year old native of Tomball, Texas appeared in 65 games (all starts) and averaged a team-high 20.0 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 3.3 apg and 1.75 spg (11th in the NBA) in a league-high 38.7 mpg. After posting a total of nine games with 20 or more points in his first three seasons (191 games), he produced 34 such games, including seven contests with 30 or more points, this past season.
As part of the Kia NBA Performance Awards, a series of on-court performance awards, this award was determined by a panel of sportswriters and broadcasters who cover the NBA. 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 received 92 of the 129 (71.3 percent) first-place votes and 535 total points; Golden State’s Draymond Green finished second with 11 first-place votes and 200 total points.