Victor Wembanyama, Spurs
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Kyrie Irving: Spurs star Victor Wembanyama has earned Defensive Player of the Year

In his first NBA season, San Antonio Spurs promising big man Victor Wembanyama has taken the league by storm.

Wembanyama has quickly asserted himself as a special talent on both ends of the floor, including becoming one of the game’s dominant rim protectors.

Beyond averaging a double-double of 20.9 points and 10.5 rebounds, he’s leading the NBA by a large margin with 3.5 blocks per game.


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Wembanyama put that elite paint protection on display against the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday night with a game-high six rejections. After the contest, Mavericks star point guard Kyrie Irving had nothing but praise for the 20-year-old, touting him as a strong candidate for Defensive Player of the Year.

“He’s showing signs that he’s exceeded all the Defensive Player of the Year stats previous to guys that have won it,” Irving said via‘s Grant Afseth. “I don’t know who they’re going to pick, but I mean, he has all the tools to be named Defensive Player of the Year.”


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Wembanyama has certainly shown plenty to make a strong bid for the prestigious honor despite the Spurs’ continued struggles this season.

He’s become a highly impactful defensive factor as he has registered 20 games with five or more blocks and 18 contests with at least three blocks despite averaging only 29.1 minutes per contest in his first 62 games.

Even if Wembanyama doesn’t win the Defensive Player of the Year award this season, he certainly possesses the unique skill set to garner that award numerous times in his career.

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