Last month, Lakers head coach Frank Vogel explained why he believed Kentavious Caldwell-Pope deserved consideration for an All-Defensive Team. While we can’t say for certain that Vogel’s case swayed voters’ minds, we do know that there’s at least one member of the media that thinks just as highly of Caldwell-Pope as Vogel does, if not higher.
On Wednesday, the NBA released the voting results for the 2020-2021 Defensive Player of the Year and, to much surprise, Caldwell-Pope received a third place vote. The only other player to receive a single vote for Defensive Player of the Year was Philadelphia 76ers guard Matisse Thybulle.
This marks the second consecutive year someone from the Lakers has been considered for Defensive Player of the Year. Last season, Anthony Davis finished second to Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo in Defensive Player of the Year voting.
Unfortunately, Caldwell-Pope also came up just a few finished a few points shy of the top vote-getter, Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz. To be exact, Caldwell-Pope finished 463 points shy of Gobert. Gobert wasn’t a starter on the team with the best defensive rating in the NBA this season, but I digress.
Here are the full results:
There’s still a chance that Caldwell-Pope makes one of the two All-Defensive Teams, but if the voting results for Defensive Player of the Year is, it’s that he’s criminally underrated, so it wouldn’t be a total shock to see him snubbed.
If Caldwell-Pope is left off of one of the All-Defensive Teams, he will have no choice but to remind everyone how valuable he is on the defensive end of the floor next season. That’s good news for the Lakers, but bad news for everybody else.