James is a five-time NBA All-Defensive First Team member, but Spoelstra believes that the 28-year-old is ready to claim one of the most prestigious awards in the league.
"This year, it would be great to see him be acknowledged for the defensive work that he does," Spoelstra told reporters.
"There's no one else in the league that can do what he does. He's been banging on that door, getting close.
"I don't want it to be a campaign. It has to be earned. But he has that type of potential to be Defensive Player of the Year."
Marc Gasol won the award last season.