NBA Slam Dunk Contest 2012: Looking Ahead to Next Year's Lineup

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NBA Slam Dunk Contest 2012: Looking Ahead to Next Year's Lineup
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

The 2012 NBA Sprite Slam Dunk contest was exactly what fans knew it would be at All-Star Saturday night in Orlando, terrible.

Why do they even call it All-Star Saturday night if watching Dwyane Wade eat a hot dog is the closest we come to seeing superstars in action?

The night's main event, the dunk competition, was highlighted by a handful of no-name dunkers that should have been back home enjoying a few days off from the expedited season.

Note to the NBA: No recognizable stars, no memorable dunks.

Well there is always next year, and it's hard to imagine 2013 coming up quite as small as the historic competition did this season.

So who can we expect to see at next year's event? Let's speculate.

Jeremy Evans

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The 2012 Slam Dunk champion will have to be back to defend his crown next year. That is unless he is in the developmental league or playing overseas.

Evans is averaging 5.6 minutes per game with the Utah Jazz and has only played in 16 games total in 2011-12.

The 24-year-old human pogo stick is a worthy dunker, but he's averaging 3.2 PPG for his young career. 

Nate Robinson

Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

The only thing better than Kevin Hart getting dunked on is Kevin Hart getting dunked on by Nate Robinson.

Robinson will only be 28 years old next February and could be the familiar face that brings some excitement back into the legendary All-Star weekend event.

Robinson is a three-time Slam Dunk champ and won it back-to-back in 2009 and 2010.

Dwight Howard

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Will Superman return after years of hiding? It's hard to comprehend how Dwight Howard missed out on participating in the Slam Dunk contest on his home court in Orlando in 2012, but perhaps he will be in a better mood next season playing in a city of his choice.

Howard and Robinson had some epic encounters at All-Star Saturday night, so if one is down to restore the rivalry, then odds are the other will follow suit.

Blake Griffin

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

The 2011 Sprite Slam Dunk champion left much to be desired after wowing fans in Los Angeles a year ago with an awesome display of hops and props.

The future of the dunk competition lies in the hands of the NBA's big men, who have opened up an entirely new bag of potential tricks with their spectacular combo of height and athleticism.

If stars like Griffin and Howard return to the dimming lights of All-Star Saturday night then the fading competition can make a comeback.

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