Brandon Ingram has earned recognition for his growth in a new season with a new team.
Monday, the NBA announced that Ingram has been named this season's Most Improved Player, capping off a season that saw him blossom into an All-Star as the 22-year-old averaged career bests of 23.8 points, 6.1 rebounds and 4.2 assists while knocking down 2.4 triples per game at a 39.1% clip.
Ingram becomes the first player in New Orleans franchise history to win the award.
The 2019-20 #KiaMIP is… @B_Ingram13! #NBAAwards pic.twitter.com/42CrQRo0K9- NBA (@NBA) August 31, 2020
It was a tight vote, as Ingram earned 42 first-place votes for Most Improved Player, barely beating out runner up Bam Adebayo, who received 38 first-place votes. Second-year star Luka Doncic came in third as he tallied 12 first-place votes.
This year was the year of the improved player as Boston Celtics forwad Jayson Tatum (3), Charlotte Hornets guard Devonte' Graham (2), Toronto Raptors forward Pascal Siakam (1), Detroit Pistons centre Christian Wood (1) and Raptors guard Fred VanVleet (1) were among the players also receiving first-place votes.
Take a look at the full results, as voted on by a global panel of 100 broadcasters and sportswriters:
After missing the final month of the 2018-19 season due to deep vein thrombosis in his arm, Ingram was traded from the Los Angeles Lakers on July 6, 2019 to New Orleans in a deal surrounding Anthony Davis.
The change of scenery did wonders for Ingram this season, as he scored 30 or more points 11 times, including a career-best 49-point performance in a thrilling overtime win over the Utah Jazz on Jan. 16. He and the Pelicans stumbled during the NBA's restart, falling four games shy of earning a spot in the league's first play-in tournament.
Ingram, who is eligible to sign a contract this upcoming year, forms an exciting core of the future in New Orleans alongside Lonzo Ball and Zion Williamson.