The field for All-Star Weekend’s Sprite Slam Dunk Contest is slowly taking shape. After word spread last week that Andrew Wiggins would participate comes a report that fellow young high-fliers Giannis Antetokounmpo, Victor Oladipo, and Mason Plumlee will join him.
The news is courtesy of Yahoo Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski. The report also states that Zach LaVine, a teammate of Wiggins’ with the Minnesota Timberwolves, is likely to compete in the contest:
The Milwaukee Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo and Orlando Magic’s Victor Oladipo have committed to participating in the All-Star Weekend Slam Dunk contest, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
Brooklyn Nets center Mason Plumlee also will be a part of the competition, sources told Yahoo Sports. Another strong possibility for the competition is Minnesota Timberwolves rookie Zach LaVine, sources said.
It bears repeating that Wojnarowski only confirms Oladipo, Antetokounmpo, and Plumlee as participants. LaVine is simply a “possibility,” while Wiggins isn’t included in the report whatsoever.
Even if Minny’s “Bounce Brothers” surprise by electing against the dunk contest this time around, the league has assembled a promising field nonetheless. Aerial antics of Oladipo, Antetokounmpo, and Plumlee have been profiled on frequent occasion at Dime of late, and rightfully so – all three youngsters can fly.
At 6-4 with rare hang-time and mid-air grace, Oladipo boasts the awesome physical profile of classic dunk contest competitors. If the Orlando Magic guard simply pulled out this 360 come February 14, we’d hardly be disappointed:
The Greek Freak is a more surprising participant. The Milwaukee Bucks’ young star isn’t the pure leaper of Oladipo, and has the extreme length that’s turned-off judges and watchers in the past. Of course, his Gumby-like proportions are also a benefit. How many players can pull off this jam?
Plumlee, the ascending Brooklyn Nets big man, is a perfect amalgam of Oladipo and Antetokounmpo. While 6-11 and long-limbed, he’s an explosive jumper and contorts his body airborne like a player far smaller:
Now let’s hope that the league abandons last year’s abysmal format. The “freestyle round” was simply awkward, and the team-based setup made it easy to forget that John Wall served as individual winner.
Assuming just one of Wiggins and LaVine join this trio of jumping jacks, we’ll have a great group of dunkers. Now we just hope the powers that be simply let them do what they do best come contest time – dunk.
Who will win the dunk contest?
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