2023 NBA Defensive Player of the Year: Top Contenders – Rudy Gobert vs. RW3

Rudy Gobert Leads NBA Defensive Player of the Year Odds

DraftKings recently updated their NBA Awards page, and the odds for the 2023 NBA Defensive Player of the Year have been revealed. At +550 odds, Rudy Gobert is currently the betting favorite to win the prestigious award. However, Robert Williams III, also known as RW3 from the Boston Celtics, is not far behind at +650 odds. Another strong contender is Bam Adebayo from the Miami Heat, who is looming with +700 odds.

A Stalwart of Defense: Rudy Gobert

Rudy Gobert is no stranger to the NBA Defensive Player of the Year award, having won it three times already. If he secures the award again this year, he will join an exclusive group of four-time winners that includes Ben Wallace and Dikembe Mutombo. Gobert’s reputation as one of the league’s top defenders stems from his exceptional rim protection skills. He has proven time and again that he loves playing defense and is a force to be reckoned with in the paint.

Robert Williams III: A Rising Star

Robert Williams III played a vital role as the anchorman of the Boston Celtics’ top-ranked defense last season. His presence in the paint was instrumental in their success. Unfortunately, Williams suffered a knee injury late in the season, which prevented him from contending for the Defensive Player of the Year award. Nonetheless, he remains a strong contender this year, with +650 odds to win the honor.

Challenges and Dark Horses

While Gobert and Williams are considered frontrunners, there are other notable players in the running for the Defensive Player of the Year award. Bam Adebayo, the heart and soul of the Miami Heat’s defense, presents a compelling case with +700 odds. Draymond Green, a former winner in 2017, may not possess the same physical edge he once had but compensates with his tactical mind games. However, at +1100 odds, he may be overvalued at this stage of his career.

Dark Horse Contenders for the Defensive Player of the Year

Greek Freak’s Quest for Double Honors

Giannis Antetokounmpo, lovingly known as the Greek Freak, won the Defensive Player of the Year award in 2020 and aspires to add a second trophy to his collection. Bookmakers offer enticing +1200 odds on his chances.

Mikal Bridges: Phoenix’s Defensive Pillar

Mikal Bridges showcased his defensive prowess last season, establishing himself as the top defender for the Phoenix Suns. Despite being embroiled in trade rumors involving Kevin Durant, Bridges remains a strong value play at +1300 odds.

Joel Embiid: Close on MVP, Pursuing DPOY

Joel Embiid, who narrowly missed out on winning the MVP award last season, has his sights set on the Defensive Player of the Year accolade. The Philadelphia 76ers’ dominant center is currently being offered at +1500 odds.

Anthony Davis: A Two-Way Beast

Anthony Davis of the LA Lakers is undoubtedly a formidable defensive presence when he is healthy. With his agility and shot-blocking abilities, Davis is a key rim protector for the Lakers. However, his ongoing struggles with injuries have led to doubts about his durability, reflected in his +2000 odds for the DPOY award.

Ben Simmons: Defensive Maestro

Despite a turbulent exit from the Philadelphia 76ers, Ben Simmons still possesses exceptional defensive abilities. Known for his versatility in guarding multiple positions, including guards, wings, and big men, Simmons is an intriguing choice for the Defensive Player of the Year award at +2500 odds.

Chet Holmgren: A Rookie’s Ascent

Chet Holmgren, the young rookie from Gonzaga, managed to enter the top 20 contenders on the board. As the second overall pick in the NBA Draft, he showcased his rim-protecting skills during the NBA Summer League with the Oklahoma City Thunder. However, with +6000 odds, he is considered a long shot for the Defensive Player of the Year award.


The race for the 2023 NBA Defensive Player of the Year award is heating up, with several strong contenders vying for the prestigious honor. Rudy Gobert, with his impressive track record, leads the pack as the favorite. Nevertheless, Robert Williams III and Bam Adebayo are close behind, ready to challenge Gobert’s dominance. Additionally, dark horses like Giannis Antetokounmpo, Mikal Bridges, Joel Embiid, Anthony Davis, Ben Simmons, and even rookie Chet Holmgren could still throw their names into the ring. As the season progresses, it will be fascinating to see who emerges as the league’s top defender.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can a player win the NBA Defensive Player of the Year award multiple times?

Yes, several players have won the award multiple times, including Ben Wallace, Dikembe Mutombo, and Rudy Gobert, who is aiming for his fourth win this year.

2. Has a guard ever won the NBA Defensive Player of the Year award before?

Yes, Marcus Smart of the Boston Celtics made history as the first guard to win the award in over two decades. He won it last season.

3. Are there any rookies in contention for the Defensive Player of the Year award?

Chet Holmgren, the second overall pick in the NBA Draft, is the only rookie among the top contenders. However, his chances are considered slim at this stage.

4. Can a player’s injury history impact their chances of winning the Defensive Player of the Year award?

Yes, a player’s injury history can certainly influence their chances. For instance, Anthony Davis’s frequent injuries have raised concerns about his durability, making bookmakers and bettors question his potential for the award.

5. What qualities do voters typically consider when selecting the Defensive Player of the Year?

When choosing the Defensive Player of the Year, voters often look for players who excel in individual defense, contribute to team defense, provide strong rim protection, and display versatility in guarding multiple positions. Consistency and impact on the overall defensive performance also weigh heavily in the decision-making process.

Doug I. Jones

Doug I. Jones

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