The 2023-24 NBA season is right around the corner and the predictions are flying in for team success, individual success, and who will win what award. As far as the Los Angeles Lakers are concerned, the most likely individual award that could be won is the Most Improved Player.
While it would be nice to see Anthony Davis or even LeBron James make a run at the MVP award, it is unlikely. Davis could have a chance of winning the Defensive Player of the Year award and Rui Hachimura may be in the conversation for the Sixth Man of the Year award, but both are unlikely.
The most likely Lakers’ award-winner is Austin Reaves, who should be in the spotlight for the Most Improved Player. The 2023 summer was the summer of Reaves and it very well could extend into the fall and winter with the Lakers. Here are how things stand before the season kicks off.
NBA Most Improved Player power rankings:
Since there has been no NBA action yet, our power rankings are going to be identical to the current betting favorites. As the season goes along we will continue to adjust our power rankings based on the play on the court, not on the betting lines.
- Mikal Bridges, Brooklyn Nets
- Tyrese Maxey, Philadelphia 76ers
- Jordan Poole, Washington Wizards
- Cade Cunningham, Detroit Pistons
- Anfernee Simons, Portland Trail Blazers
- Scottie Barnes, Toronto Raptors
- Austin Reaves, Los Angeles Lakers
- Evan Mobley, Cleveland Cavaliers
Everyone else has over 30/1 odds, so these are the eight names that Lakers fans should be concerned about right now. Of course, as the season goes along the order of these players will change, as well as who makes the cut as the best of the best.
All of these players have something in common. They are all undoubtedly talented and are knocking on the door of being great. Some are already better than others (like Bridges), so they will have to be even better this season to win the award.
Despite his success this summer, Reaves is lower on the NBA totem pole than just about everyone on this list. So if he makes the jump to all-star status then it will be the biggest jump, which should win him the award.
Has a Lakers player ever won the Most Improved Player?
There is not a single Most Improved Player winner in Lakers history, which could cement Austin Reaves in the Lakers history books forever if he can pull it off and win the award. The Lakers are one of nine teams that has not had a MIP winner. Three of the other eight teams have a player on our power rankings (Cavaliers, Pistons, Nets).
This is ironic considering the winner wins the George Mikan trophy. Mikan is a pioneer for the franchise, winning multiple championships back when the Lakers were in Minneapolis.