Most Improved Player
The NBA’s Most Improved Player award is often given to a young player who was already good but made a jump to stardom. Ja Morant, who won the award in 2022, is the best example. In other cases, it is also given to a player who got a fresh start on a new team and completely changed his game, like Lauri Markkanen.
The Kings don’t have a player who fits either prototype. De’Aaron Fox is still getting better, growing immensely as a defender and as a shooter, but he is already an All-Star.
Keegan Murray would probably be the only fitting candidate—he developed from a catch-and-shoot threat to a two-way player who takes on tough defensive assignments and puts the ball on the floor—but two NBA seasons is not enough to judge a player’s development at this level.
If nothing major happens, Tyrese Maxey will probably take the award home.
Coach of the Year
Mike Brown won Coach of the Year last season, transforming the Kings from a bottom-of-the-league team to a playoff contender and ending the longest postseason drought in league history.
He is doing good things again as a coach, challenging Keegan Murray to become a great defender, pushing De’Aaron Fox to play like an MVP candidate, and developing Keon Ellis.
It is extremely unlikely that he will win it again, however. Right now, the favorite is Mark Daigenault but Chris Finch, Rick Carlisle, and Ime Udoka are also making solid cases.