NBA Most Improved Player Power Rankings: Does Scottie Barnes have a shot?

Barnes has to pull off a major upset to win MIP.

Cleveland Cavaliers v Toronto Raptors
Cleveland Cavaliers v Toronto Raptors / Mark Blinch/GettyImages
3 of 3

2. Alperen Sengun, Houston Rockets

On a team with names like Fred VanVleet, Jalen Green, and Jabari Smith, Sengun has been the team's most impactful player. Ime Udoka has turned the former No. 16 pick into a player who is so valuable that he has become the primary offensive option for a much better Rockets team.

21.3 points, 9.1 rebounds, and 5.3 assists per game give Sengun almost identical production to Barnes, but he is doing so on a better Rockets team. It seems almost impossible for Sengun to miss the Al-Star game this season, and that could be enough to push him firmly into second place.

Tyrese Maxey is the Most Improved Player favorite over Scottie Barnes.

1. Tyrese Maxey, Philadelphia 76ers

Maxey is clearly the frontrunner for the MIP this year, as what he has done in his first season under Nick Nurse has been profoundly impressing. Unless something shocking happens that forces his production to crater, Maxey will likely prevent Barnes and others from winning this award.

Maxey is averaging 26.1 points and 6.5 assists per game, becoming the clear No. 2 option for a contending 76ers team fresh off trading away James Harden. The Raptors know that Maxey is only going to get stronger as the season goes on, so Barnes might get shut out.