LeBron James recently spoke about the defensive impact that JaVale McGee is having for the Los Angeles Lakers this season.

In what was a busy offseason for the Los Angeles Lakers, some of their smaller signings after LeBron James might have gone somewhat under the radar. However, the impact that these players have had on the team can’t be understated.

Even though there have been some early struggles as expected, one player that has played great for the Lakers is JaVale McGee. The Lakers signed McGee from the Golden State Warriors, and after winning two championships the last two years, McGee was expected to be more of a leader with experience than a big factor.

However, after barely playing with the Warriors. McGee has played a huge role for the Lakers so far this season. In 10 games this season, McGee is averaged 26.2 minutes per game and he has played extremely well on both ends.

Recently, LeBron James spoke on Spectrum SportsNet about McGee being deserving of early recognition for Defensive Player of the Year. Here’s what he had to say via LakersNation.com.

“He shouldn’t be in the conversation, he is the conversation right now. Just look at his numbers points per possession, points per 100 possessions when he’s on the floor and when he’s not on the floor, leading the league in shot blocks. He’s doing a little bit of everything. He’s huge for us.”

Even though the Lakers have struggled as a whole defensively this season, McGee has been their anchor in the middle. When McGee is on the court, the Lakers are clearly a different and much better team defensively than when he is off. This is certainly a good thing for McGee’s quest to win DPOY, but hasn’t been good for the Lakers.

However, help is on the way. The Lakers will reportedly be adding Tyson Chandler when his buyout from the Suns is complete. Chandler might not be the player he once was, but he can certainly give the Lakers 15 minutes a night to help backup McGee.

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While the sample size is still very small through 10 games, McGee has been a key factor for the Lakers this season. If not for him, this start to the season might be even uglier.

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