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#pounditTuesday, November 29, 2022

LeBron James says JaVale McGee is Defensive Player of the Year candidate

LeBron James

JaVale McGee has impressed many during his first few weeks as a member of the Los Angeles Lakers, including The King himself.

At shootaround on Saturday, LeBron James called his new teammate McGee a Defensive Player of the Year candidate, per ESPN’s Dave McMenamin.

McGee’s numbers have certainly been stout through eight games — beyond the 15.5 points and 7.5 rebounds per game he is averaging, the veteran big leads the league with 3.3 blocks a contest as well. Harrison Faigen of Silver Screen & Roll also notes that the Lakers are 17.2 points better defensively per 100 possessions when McGee is on the court as opposed to when he sits.

Granted, the Lakers are still giving up a whopping 121.1 points a night (third-worst in the NBA, per ESPN), so there may be better DPOY candidates out there. But at the very least, it’s safe to say that McGee has won James over after having a somewhat rocky relationship with him in years past.


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