Lauri Markkanen is the NBA’s 2023 Kia Most Improved Player.

The former Arizona big man was named the winner of the award on Monday, beating out fellow finalists Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (Oklahoma City) and Jalen Brunson (New York). Markkanen, in his sixth year in the NBA, enjoyed a breakout campaign during the 2022-23 season and becomes the Utah Jazz’s first winner in franchise history.

Markkanen took 69 of a possible 100 first-place votes.

The 7-foot forward was a key piece of Utah’s deal with Cleveland late last summer that sent Donovan Mitchell to the Cavaliers. He was a role player through his first five NBA seasons, but, once dealt, quickly showed he was capable of more.

As the No. 1 option for an NBA offense, he averaged career-highs in points (25.6), shot attempts (17.3), shooting percentage (49.9%), free throw percentage (87.5%), assists (1.9), and minutes (34.4). He also averaged 8.6 rebounds per game while shooting 39.2% from three (both the second-most in his career).

He scored 30 points or more on 16 occasions this season for the Jazz. He had one such game a year ago.

The 10.8-points-per-game improvement from last season was the largest single jump by a player in the NBA this year. He also became the first player in NBA history to have 200 makes from 3 and 100 dunks in the same season.

Earlier this season, Markkanen was selected to the NBA All-Star Game as a reserve, marking the first All-Star nod of his career and the fourth by a former Wildcat.