Basketball is entertaining. And some of its best moments are the impressive and ferocious dunks that take place on a nightly basis. On Thursday, the 2014 draft class will make its way into the league, which means there will be a whole new set of talented dunkers to take the Association by storm.
In honor of Thursday night’s NBA Draft, we rank the 10 best dunkers that this class has to offer.
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10. Jabari Parker, Duke
Although Parker’s athleticism is not highlighted when talking about his immense NBA potential, the former Duke star can certainly get up. While this part of his game may be overshadowed by athletic freak Andrew Wiggins – to whom he is constantly compared – Parker boasted his dunking ability on multiple occasions throughout his 35 collegiate games. Don’t believe us? See for yourself:
9. Jerami Grant, Syracuse
Predicted to be a late first-round pick, Grant will instantly become a fan favorite due to his leaping ability and length. The forward features a huge wingspan of 7-3, allowing him to sky for passes and rebounds and convert dunks that others simply cannot.
8. Adreian Payne, Michigan State
Despite suffering through an ankle sprain as a senior, Payne surely inflicted plenty of pain on the rim during his tenure at Michigan State. Aside from winning the College Slam Dunk Contest, he used his explosiveness during game-competition to slam home dunks in the paint, bullying defenders with strength and explosiveness down-low.
7. C.J. Fair, Syracuse
Grant’s partner-in-crime, Fair, also has bounce, and is able to finesse his way to the basket and throw down some memorable dunks. While he will need to vastly improve his strength once he’s in the NBA, Fair is long with an 8-8 reach, which will certainly help him as a dunker at the next level.
And he is not afraid to get a little bloody, either.
6. Andrew Wiggins, Kansas
A player that some would say is the best athlete among draft prospects in recent memory, Wiggins struggled to live up to unrealistic expectations at times during his lone season at Kansas but certainly showed off his gifts, as well. Though hesitant in the half-court, the 19-year-old jammed thunderous dunks during fast breaks, frequently bringing Jayhawk fans to their feet.
5. James Young, Kentucky
We all became Young fans during the NCAA Tournament Championship Game. The most memorable dunk of the college basketball season fittingly came in its last contest, and although Young’s Kentucky squad lost the game, that dunk won it, too.
The 6-6 small forward drove through the lane before leaping up and forcefully dunking over three UConn players, breaking the Twittersphere in the process.
4. Zach LaVine, UCLA
Despite averaging modest numbers of 9.4 points and 2.5 rebounds per game in his freshman season with the Bruins, LaVine is expected to be a lottery selection on Thursday. His potential and insane hops make him an appealing piece to numerous teams around the league. For our purposes, LaVine is one of the most, if not the most, exciting player to watch right now. He almost literally jumps out of the gym, as evidenced by his incredible 46-inch vertical.
3. Markel Brown, Oklahoma State
Even if his name does not come to mind right away, you have probably seen his dunks. While just 6-3, Brown has an insane 43.5-inch vertical leap and threw down a flurry of massive jams throughout his four-year collegiate career. He will be fun to watch at the next level.
2. Deonte Burton, Nevada
Despite playing the point guard position at 6-1, Burton is no stranger to the rim. The former Nevada Wolfpack All-American regularly threw down eye-popping dunks, including the likely Dunk of the Year against Boise State in March.
1. Aaron Gordon, Arizona
The lottery-bound Gordon’s combination of athleticism, motor, size and skill makes him the best dunker we have in the 2014 draft. Still 18 years-old, the 6-9 power forward is as ferocious a finisher as he is a graceful one. In Gordon, the league is getting a great, great dunker.
Who do you think is the best dunker in the 2014 draft?
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