Trail Blazers

Knicks’ Julius Randle awarded 2021 NBA Most Improved Player

Trail Blazers

Julius Randle was named the NBA’s Most Improved Player for 2020-21 after leading the revitalized New York Knicks to a 41-31 record and No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference. He is the first Knicks player to take home the honor.

He set career highs with 24.1 points, 10.2 rebounds and 6.0 assists per game and a 41.1% clip from 3-point range. He was also the league leader in minutes per game at 37.6 and was named an All-Star for the first time.

Randle eclipsed 40 points three times this season, with two of those games coming against the Atlanta Hawks. The forward fell well short of that mark in Game 1 of the Knicks' first-round series versus the Hawks on Sunday, only scoring 15 points on 6-for-23 shooting.

Randle ran away with this year’s award, securing 98 of 100 first-place votes and a single second-place vote.

The other two first-place votes went to Jerami Grant, who finished in second in the race after scoring a career-high 22.3 points per game in his first season with the Detroit Pistons. 

Third place went to Denver Nuggets forward Michael Porter Jr., fourth place went to Houston Rockets forward Christian Wood and fifth place went to Chicago Bulls guard Zach LaVine. Boston Celtics guard Jaylen Brown and Toronto Raptors big man Chris Boucher tied for sixth place.


Max Molski contributed to this story.