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Memphis Grizzlies’ Ja Morant wins NBA Most Improved Player

The hardest step up, the most challenging improvement to make in the NBA is from star to superstar.

Ja Morant made that leap look effortless this season, which is why he was voted the NBA’s Most Improved Player for 2021-22. His teammates swarmed him at practice when it was announced.

Morant received 38 first-place votes out of the 100 cast (by selected media members), beating out DeJounte Murray and Darius Garland for the award.

Morant averaged 27.6 points and 6.7 assists a game this season. He took on a much larger role in the offense and increased his efficiency, a rare combination. While some tried to argue on Twitter that players in the MVP mix — and Morant was that for the bottom of the ballot — should not win “most improved,” however, most voters use the criteria of voting for the player they believed improved the most, regardless of status. That was Morant this season.

The Warriors Jordan Poole — who has stepped up in the playoffs — finished fourth in the voting, with the Grizzlies Desmond Bane fifth and the 76ers Tyrese Maxey sixth.