D’ANGELO RUSSELL, MOST IMPROVED PLAYER
Prior to getting hurt last year, D’Angelo Russell looked well on his way to turning the corner. Over the first 12 games of 2017-18, the Brooklyn Nets guard was averaging 20.9 points, 4.7 rebounds and 5.7 assists per contest, showing the potential that led the Los Angeles Lakers to draft him No. 2 overall in 2015. Then he injured his knee, missed a bunch of time and wasn’t able to regain that form once he did return in January. Nevertheless, playing for a greatly under-appreciated head coach in Kenny Atkinson, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Russell find that early 2017-18 magic and make a push for Most Improved Player. He’s got all the talent; it’s just about putting it together over the course of a full season.