The field for the 2016 Slam Dunk Contest has been leaked by multiple outlets, and it might be a bit disappointing to Toronto Raptors fans. Not only is there not a Canadian in the event, but Norman Powell also won’t get his wish to participate in front of his home crowd.
There’s no Terrence Ross (a two-time champion), no DeMar DeRozan (a two-time participant), no Andrew Wiggins (deferring to a teammate), not even a Jamario Moon (presumed dead). Maybe they’ll at least have Vince Carter and Tracy McGrady judge?
Even without a Canadian flavor, though, the dunk contest promises to be awesome. The field is absolutely lit, headlined by defending champion Zach LaVine. Remember: LaVine turned in the best individual performance in a dunk contest since Carter and claimed afterward he saved his best dunk.
LaVine will be joined by Andre Drummond, Aaron Gordon (!!), and Will Barton, providing a nice mix of sizes and styles. The NBA continued the usual script of skewing young and mixing in a big man, and it will be interesting to see what Drummond can do outside of rim-destroying power alley-oops. Again, LaVine is a marvel, and Barton is one of the most exhilarating open-court players in the NBA.
The bet here is that LaVine retains – he’s too good to bet any other way – but there’s a non-zero chance that Gordon takes the crown from. He was ridiculous back at the McDonald’s All-American Dunk Contest and Les Schwab Dunk Contest, the Arizona Dunk Contest and, well, you get the point. He does this.
This is going to be a ton of fun.