Who do you think will be crowned the NBA's Defensive Player of the Year for the 2018-19 season?
Scott Rafferty (@crabdribbles): I'm torn between Rudy Gobert and Joel Embiid for this one, but I think I'll go with Joel Embiid.
This obviously hinges on the big man being able to play 60-plus games again, but Embiid was one of the most effective rim protectors in the league last season. The Philadelphia 76ers also held opponents to slightly less points with Embiid on the floor (96.8 points per 100 possessions) than the Utah Jazz did with Rudy Gobert (97.4).
If Embiid can do more of the same/build on that success and the 76ers can establish themselves as contenders in the Eastern Conference again, Embiid might just be the favourite to win DPOY.
Gilbert McGregor (@GMcGregor21): I've already said he's the best rim protector in the league, so naturally I believe Anthony Davis will win Defensive Player of the Year in 2018-19.
Davis' work speaks for itself - he's a three-time block champ, a three-time All-Defensive First Teamer and he finished third in Defensive Player of the Year voting behind Joel Embiid and Rudy Gobert in 2017-18.
I predict Davis will lead the league in blocks once again and continue to be a versatile presence defensively; last season, he led all big men with 1.5 steals per game as well. Davis has said before that winning Defensive Player of the Year is a goal of his and 2018-19 is the season in which he will make it happen.
Kyle Irving (@KyleIrv_): Give me Kawhi Leonard this year.
When Kawhi is fully healthy, he's the best defender in the NBA. He can guard any player that steps on the floor and he takes pride in locking down your favorite team's best player. He looked close to 100 percent in the preseason, which is bad news for opposing scorers considering he's already earned three First Team All-Defense honors in his career - and he probably would have gotten a fourth consecutive nod last season had he not gotten injured.
Now healthy, I think the competitor in Kawhi is ready to show he's back to being his former two-time Defensive Player of the Year self.
Carlan Gay (@TheCarlanGay): I rarely agree with Scott on anything but he's right: Joel Embiid will walk away with the 2018-19 DPOY.
He'll play enough game this year to eliminate the "he hasn't played enough" argument and the 76ers should be a top five defensive team again this season. Embiid finished fourth in blocks per game and seventh in block percentage last season, and I expect him to be in the top three in both this season.
A motivated and healthy Embiid is going to run wild on the defensive end for Brett Brown and the 76ers this season - especially since he got robbed of the award last year.
Manuel de la Torre (@manueltorresanz): Draymond Green just complained about not being on the All-Defensive First Team last season. You can disagree with him on many topics, but let's be honest: Green is an elite defensive player and he has good reason to be upset.
Green might be shorter than the average power forward and center, but he's the one in charge of defending the big fellas when Steve Kerr is playing small ball. He also has no problem switching onto smaller players, distancing himself from other players at his position.
Basically, Green is the heart and engine of one of the best teams ever. He already won the award in 2017 and he's gonna repeat this season.