Last season, Goran Dragic was the first-year, full-time starting point guard of the Western Conference’s worst team.

This season, Dragic became the star of a 30-21 Suns team by establishing career bests in scoring and shooting.

Dragic’s star status was not enough to be named to Sunday’s NBA All-Star Game, an honor that would have earned him a $1 million contract bonus. The 27-year-old point guard’s rise puts him in the conversation for another league honor, Most Improved Player.

It is one of the league’s more difficult awards to predict because it often rewards players whose average statistics improved because they simply played more. Suns teammates Miles Plumlee and Gerald Green are those sorts of candidates, and Eric Bledsoe would have been if not for the knee injury.

With Dragic, there is pure improvement.

It is evident in a 38 percent scoring jump to 20.3 points per game. He shot 44.3 percent last season, the same as his career number, but is at 50.8 percent this season, making him the NBA’s only perimeter player besides LeBron James with the efficiency to be a 20-point scorer and make at least half of his shots. His on-ball defense, particularly when isolated, has improved. His vocal command of the offense has come as far as he did from Slovenia.

“This is his team,” Golden State coach Mark Jackson said of Dragic. “He’s always been a guy you had to pay attention to but he’s a guy now with the basketball in his hands full-time. His ability to score, make plays, the pressure he puts on you in transition. The one thing I realized in this league is that confidence is the biggest thing and he’s a guy playing with extreme confidence right now.”

Dragic’s strength always has been to drive in transition or in a half-court set. He has become the fifth-highest scoring fast-break player with as many “and-one” finishes (20) as he had last season (20), but that is just an enhancement of a prior strength.

Dragic’s offensive bump to become the NBA’s 16th-ranked scorer (entering Thursday) is a result of perimeter shooting. He went from making 32 percent of his 3-point tries last season to 41 percent this season, tying him for 20th.

Dragic’s pick-and-roll effectiveness has another layer — his ability to come off a screen and pull up when defenders lay off. Dragic often operates in the middle or right side of the floor, areas where he improved from 32 percent of his mid-range jumpers last season to 44 percent this season.