Pacers’ Victor Oladipo among finalists for NBA’s Most Improved Player

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - APRIL 05: Victor Oladipo #4 of the Indiana Pacers dribbles the ball against the Golden State Warrriors during the game at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on April 5, 2018 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – The nomination comes as no surprise to Indiana Pacers fans who watched him become a star this season.

Pacers guard Victor Oladipo is a finalist for NBA’s Most Improved Player. The league made the announcement Wednesday night.

Oladipo, who made his first All-Star team this season, had career highs in scoring, rebounding, assists and steals.

It’s what the Pacers hoped for—but couldn’t count on—when they traded star Paul George to the Oklahoma City Thunder for Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis. When the team initially made the trade, many thought they’d gotten the short end of the stick.

Oladipo proved them wrong throughout the season, leading the Pacers to 48 wins and the fifth seed in the Eastern Conference. The team pushed LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers to seven games in their first-round playoff series.

Not bad for a team most NBA experts projected would win 30 games at most.

Houston Rockets center Clint Capela and Brooklyn Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie are the other finalists for Most Improved Player. The league will announce the winner on June 25.

Here are the finalists for the other NBA awards this season:

  • MVP: LeBron James (Cavaliers), James Harden (Rockets), Anthony Davis (Pelicans)
  • Rookie of the Year: Ben Simmons (76ers), Donovan Mitchell (Jazz), Jayson Tatum (Celtics)
  • Defensive Player of the Year: Anthony Davis (Pelicans), Joel Embiid (76ers), Rudy Gobert (Jazz)
  • Coach of the Year: Dwane Casey (Raptors), Quin Snyder (Jazz), Brad Stevens (Celtics)
  • Sixth Man of the Year: Eric Gordon (Rockets), Lou Williams (LA Clippers), Fred VanVleet (Raptors)