New York: Chicago Bulls guard Jimmy Butler was named the NBA's Most Improved Player on Thursday after a season that included career highs in scoring, rebounds and assists and a first All-Star nod.
The award is designed to honor an up-and-coming player who has made a dramatic improvement from the previous season or seasons. The 25-year-old Butler received 92 of 129 first-place votes and 535 total points from a panel of sports media from the United States and Canada.
Golden State's Draymond Green with 11 first-place votes and 200 points was second in the balloting and Utah's Rudy Gobert third. In his fourth NBA season Butler averaged 20 points per game, 15th in the league, 5.8 rebounds, 3.3 assists. His average of 1.75 steals per game was 11th in the league.
He averaged almost 39 minutes on the floor per game in helping the 50-32 Bulls snare the third seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs. 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.