LeBron James thinks JaVale McGee could win Defensive Player of the Year.
The 30-year-old center, who signed a one-year, veteran’s minimum contract with Los Angeles in July, has averaged a league-high 3.6 blocks in nine games this season. James, the Lakers star, discussed McGee’s performance with reporters this weekend.
“We could have possibly the Defensive Player of the Year in JaVale and we see when he goes off the floor what happens to our defense,” James said (via USA Today). “It’s definitely good to have him on the floor, I’ll tell you that.”
McGee has also made an impact on the offensive end of the floor for Los Angeles as he has tallied 15.1 points and 7.7 rebounds per game. Lakers guard Lonzo Ball said McGee has “been big” for the team all year.
“Protects the paint, dunks, everything,” Ball told reporters earlier this week. “We appreciate him a lot.”
McGee averaged just 4.8 points and 2.6 rebounds in 9.5 minutes per game for the Warriors last season.
The Lakers enter play Sunday with a 4-5 record. They reportedly plan to sign veteran Tyson Chandler, who was recently bought out by the Suns.