The Most Improved Player award generally goes to players that show massive improvements in their game. A lot of the time, the award goes to a player that comes out of nowhere to become a star.
This year, the award was given to Ja Morant. Morant isn't the traditional type of player to win the award, but the argument for him is that he went from a player that was a borderline All-Star, and one that became a full-fledged superstar.
Despite the fact that Ja Morant made a lot of improvements to his game, it seems as though he believes one of his teammates deserved the award. Most recently, it was revealed that Ja Morant gave his MIP award to teammate Desmond Bane, claiming that Bane deserves it.
I left your award in your kitchen gang... you deserve it killa.
Desmond Bane later posted a video of his reaction to receiving the award, claiming that Ja Morant giving up the award just shows what kind of teammate he is. There is no doubt that this was a good gesture from Ja Morant, which showed his support for Desmond Bane.
Just to show y'all what type of teammate Ja is. My dawg fasho.
Desmond Bane ended up finishing 5th in the voting on the award. Desmond Bane's PPG jumped from 9.2 to 18.2, and his 3PT percentage remained relatively the same despite an increase in attempts from 4.0 to 6.9. There's no doubt that he would have been a deserving winner. Desmond Bane has notably been showing out in the playoffs as well, averaging 23.3 PPG, 3.8 RPG, and 2.8 APG.
Both Ja Morant and Desmond Bane have been crucial to the Memphis Grizzlies finishing as the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference. They are currently 2-2 against the Minnesota Timberwolves, and hopefully, they are able to close out the series and go on to the second round.