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Most Improved Player of the Year Race: Six NBA players that have seen their game skyrocket to the next level!

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With the NBA season in full swing and health and safety protocols decimating rosters and forcing teams to sign guys like Lance Stephenson, it’s a great time to identify a few players that, regardless of the situation, have been making strides, solidifying themselves as top-notch NBA future superstars and candidates for the Most Improved Player of the Year award.

Sports Card Price Guide and Database provided by Sport Card Investor.

Ja Morant, Memphis Grizzlies, Age: 22
5C14FF05 F152 4E17 8382 9CF5EE281027Season averages: 25.0 points, 6.6 assists, 5.8 rebounds, 1.6 triples and 1.4 steals on 49 percent from the field and 78 percent from the free throw line.
In just his third season in the league, Morant has entered the MVP conversation with tremendous plays on both ends of the floor, averaging career-highs in every major statistical category. The young Grizzlies have exceeded all expectations, sitting comfortably in the top playoff picture in the West and with the record they own it is almost certain that Ja will be an All-Star this season!
Raw Base Card Market (Prizm): Not surprisingly, one of the most expensive raw cards in the market and with the price that is steadily doing up but you should be stocking up on his cards since he plays in a small market and he doesn’t have star exposure yet.

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Dejounte Murray, San Antonio Spurs, Age: 2568EA2D12 9CDF 47EB 94F7 FE95025A6A00
Season averages: 18.2 points, 8.3 rebounds, 8.9 assists, 1.4 triples and 2.1 steals on 44 percent from the field and 70 percent from the free throw line.
At the age of 24, Murray has officially taken over the reins of a young Spurs squad that is slowly rebuilding under the guidance of Gregg Popovich and he looks like a lead candidate for Most Improved Player of the Year. He is just the third player in NBA history to average over 15.0 points, 8.0 rebounds, 8.0 assists and 2.0 steals per game, after Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson!
Raw Base Card Market (Prizm): Murray continues to fly under the radar and looks like a great investment right now since he is only 25 and there is high probability that he will be playing at a bigger market at some point in the future.

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Fred VanVleet, Toronto Raptors, Age: 27

DC731EE9 1741 484B A1B4 B1C06F8EB1E2Season averages: 21.7 points, 5.0 rebounds, 6.8 assists,, 3.7 triples, 1.6 steals and 0.6 blocks on 44 percent from the field and 89 percent from the free throw line.
The Raptors moved away this past season from their undisputed leader, Kyle Lowry, and the franchise decided not to draft another guard (even though they had the chance to get Jalen Suggs), with the reason being that they thought VanVleet was ready to step up to the challenge and take over. He is averaging career-highs across all categories but most importantly, he’s scoring at the highest efficiency of his career. Not much attention though is being put on the other side of the ball where VanVleet has also established himself as one of the best perimeter defenders in the league.

Miles Bridges, Charlotte Hornets, Age: 23 CB528AD6 BFD5 46A5 B6F7 0842AE485744
Season averages: 19.6 points, 7.2 rebounds, 3.7 assists,, 1.9 triples, 1.2 steals and 0.8 blocks on 48 percent from the field and 76 percent from the free throw line.
Bridges came into the season storming and many observers thought he was not going to be able to maintain that level of play but after 40 games him and the Hornets are here to stay. The emergence of Bridges is the key to Charlotte’s offence going to the next level and ranking as second in the entire league in offensive efficiency.
Raw Base Card Market (Prizm): With his Prizm raw card at less than $2, Bridges continues to fly under the radar; after a quick spike at the beginning of the season his cards have been going down; don’t forget that he he is a restricted free agent this upcoming summer and he, too, could move to a bigger market.

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Jarrett Allen, Cleveland Cavs, Age: 23
765DF631 3B13 480D 8BBB BB2C758EFCAFSeason averages: 17.0 points, 10.8 rebounds, 1.9 assists, 0.9 steals and 1.4 blocks on 71 percent from the field and 71 percent from the free throw line.
After getting traded last season in the James Harden blockbuster, Allen ended up in Cleveland where he had a so-so season before an offseason where the Cavs gave him a long-term deal and he has been a revelation, playing a huge role in the Cavs’ surprising successHe is averaging career-highs across most categories forming a defensive wall in the middle together with rookie sensation Evan Mobley. The future finally looks bright in Cleveland and Allen looks to be a major part of their success going forward.
Base Card Market (PSA 10 Prizm): Allen’s rookie PSA 10 card is  currently at a reasonable $50 but is trending up and you might be looking at an All-Star in the making.

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Darius Garland, Cleveland Cavaliers, Age: 21 7C18BC11 13A9 4F2E A55D 0221F87B41C3
Season averages: 19.9 points, 7.3 assists, 3.0 rebounds, 2.7 triples and 1.3 steals on 48 percent from the field and 91 percent from the free throw line.
Fellow Cavalier Darius Garland is also averaging career-highs in every major statistical category and is strong candidate for the NBA’s Most Improved Player of the Year award. Garland has been given the green light to run the team’s offense, especially after Collin Sexton went down with a season-ending injury, and he has been rock solid, helping the Cavs become a serious playoffs contender after years in mediocrity.
Raw Base Card Market (Prizm): Garland lacks the necessary exposure and he is just making a name for himself, with his card value reflecting a sloe and steady uptick, I wouldn’t miss the opportunity to go in.

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Sports Card Price Guide and Database provided by Sport Card Investor.

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