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Gordon Hayward is stepping up, but can he be in the MIP discussion?

Arno at GSOM breaks down the most likely candidates!

"Mmmmmm, even my musk is improved after switching to that new fabric softner!"
"Mmmmmm, even my musk is improved after switching to that new fabric softner!"
Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

How good is Utah Jazz frontman Gordon Hayward playing right now? Well, G-Time is averaging 18.7 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 4.6 apg, 1.3 spg, 1.7 3PTA, getting to the line 5.1 times a game, and doing it all while playing 34.6 mpg. He's playing better, scoring more, shooting better, getting more rebounds, getting to the line more -- while playing about 2.0 fewer minutes per game. Yes, he's doing better under Quin Snyder than he did last year with more minutes under Tyrone Corbin.

Would you argue that Hayward's improvement this year is significant enough to garner some Most Improved player votes? You could argue about it, his PER is up to 22.1 right now (from 16.2) and he is taking command of this team -- on offense and defense. Arno Ferguson, of Golden State of Mind, wrote about the 10 Most likely MIP candidates.

I suggest you check it out, if not just for Gordon Hayward but for the other players on the list.

As for The Precious, well, Arno had this to say:

8. Gordon Hayward (Min -2.2, Pts +2.5, FG% +5.9, FT% +6.9, TOs -0.7)

Hayward is probably one of the few names casual NBA fans will recognize on the Jazz roster. Looks like his game has reacted well to the 4-year, 63 million contract he received in the off-season. With slightly decreasing minutes, he's been scoring more (and efficiently) while cutting back his turnovers.

- Arno Fergusion, GSOM, 2014

Check it out here, and hopefully Hayward's play will continue to gain some level of attention to our oft-forgotten franchise. (On the National level. Serously, name the last Jazz player to win an end-of-season award. Go!)