Grantland’s Lowe: Dragic Most Improved

Take it from a man with an actual vote: Goran Dragic is the Most Improved Player of the 2013-14 season.

That’s the message from Grantland.com’s Zach Lowe, who tabbed the Slovenian playmaker No. 1 on his MIP list ahead of DeMarcus Cousins and Suns teammate Markieff Morris.

The clinching factor for Lowe? A “who saw that coming?” factor.

Dragic emerging mid-career as a first option shooting 50 percent from the floor and 40 percent from deep counts as more of a surprise. Phoenix’s fast pace helps, and Dragic will happily tell you that running the pick-and-roll with an elite shooting big like Frye is a dream. But he has thrived as a scorer in just about all contexts, he’s still dishing dimes, and he’s getting to the line more.

Morris came in third in both Most Improved and Sixth Man for Lowe, who joins Suns fans in appreciation for the third-year forward’s heightened aggressiveness on the offensive end.

As for Morris, his PER is also up nearly six points, and he has somehow turned into an efficient scorer after shooting 40 percent last year…He’s up to 50 percent on 2s this season, with a refined post-up game. Morris can shoot over guys with a soft touch, but if he thinks he can do better, he’ll face up, put the ball on the floor, and attack the rim.