Victor Wembanyama can be DPOY

Dallas Mavericks star, Kyrie Irving, recently heaped high praise on San Antonio Spurs rookie, Victor Wembanyama. Irving commented on Wembanyama’s defensive prowess going as far to suggest he could win the Defensive Player of the Year award.

“You got to be aware of him late challenging, and he has the timing of a guard. I don’t know if it’s just he’s played against guards, but I’m just saying, I think he’s got a lot of reps of playing against good guards and guarding them one-on-one. Today, I thought I had a reverse layup and he ended up blocking it on the left side, because I thought he was going to be on the right side. But he has this long wingspan, so he covers up a lot of space. Me as a competitor and challenger, I like going in there and challenging him, because if you can finish on [Victor Wembanyama], I feel like you can finish on anybody in the world. He’s going to block some and he’s going to make you change it, but it’s only going to make you better as a basketball player, and that’s what I want, and I think everybody should relish in that. But also, be smart in challenging him, because he does bate you a lot,” Irving said. “He does do things like a Defensive Player of the Year would. He’s showing signs that’s he’s exceeded all the Defensive Player of the Year stats of the previous guys that have won it. You guys see it. 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. He’s for sure a candidate. I don’t know how he wouldn’t be unless the games played and minutes. But every Defensive Player of the Year that’s won the past few years, he’s almost head and shoulder and we still have what 15 or some odd games left? I give him credit for being such a young player but learning on the fly and doing everything he can to get his team wins.”

The Mavericks have won all three games against the Spurs this season. However, Victor Wembanyama was solid in each matchup. The Spurs rookie has put together an impressive rookie campaign and is currently leading the NBA in blocks at 3.5 per game.

Kyrie Irving Says Victor Wembanyama Has Tools to be a Defensive Player of the Year

The Spurs’ Rookie’s Impressive Campaign

As alluded to already, Victor Wembanyama is having a great year. He is a favorite for Rookie of the Year and for good reason. Per FanDuel, the French sensation currently has -3,500 odds to take home the award. Despite the Spurs’ team struggles, Wembanyama is tallying 20.7 points, 1.3 steals, and 10.4 total rebounds per game. He is also shooting 46.4 percent from the floor, has a defensive rating of 107, a player efficiency rating of 22.6, and a defensive box plus/minus rating of 3.0. Kyrie Irving’s endorsement of Victor Wembanyama is even more proof that the rookie is destined for great things in the NBA. The scary fact is that he is only going to improve as he progresses further along in his career.

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