2013 NBA Dunk Contest logo2013 NBA Dunk Contest

1 Player from Each Team That Should Be in the NBA Dunk Contest

Greg SwartzCleveland Cavaliers Lead WriterNovember 26, 2012

1 Player from Each Team That Should Be in the NBA Dunk Contest

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    The NBA Slam Dunk contest is one of the best All-Star festivities in all of sports.

    First beginning in 1984, some of the all-time greats have participated in the event.  From Dominique Wilkins to Blake Griffin, Michael Jordan to Kobe Bryant, many have built or added on to their legacy by winning this exciting display of creativity and athleticism.

    While some of today's stars have shied away from the contest, every team has at least one player that would make a great participant.

    Here are 30 of the game's best dunkers who have never entered the Slam-Dunk contest, but should definitely consider doing so while their still in their athletic prime.



    All dunk stats are courtesy of 82games.com.

Atlanta Hawks: Jeff Teague

2 of 31

    2011-2012 Dunk Frequency: Four percent

    Position: PG

    Years Pro: Four


    Point guards don't often enter the dunk contest, but Teague could be the exception.

    With a higher vertical than Blake Griffin (36.5 inches to 35.5), Teague catches a lot of defenses off guard with his ability to penetrate and throw down in traffic.

    Small guys have done well in the contest recently (see Nate Robinson), and could win a lot of the fan vote pulling off unexpected moves for someone of their stature.

Boston Celtics: Jeff Green

3 of 31

    2011-2012 Dunk Frequency: Three percent (2010-11)

    Position: SF

    Years Pro: Five


    Green is arguably the Celtics most athletic player, and is getting solid minutes in his return to the NBA.

    While he doesn't dunk often, with only three percent of his total baskets coming off jams, it's clear when he does, they matter.

    Since a heart condition caused him to miss all of 2011-12, it would be good for Green to remind NBA fans what he's capable of on a national stage.

Brooklyn Nets: Josh Childress

4 of 31

    2011-2012 Dunk Frequency: Nine percent

    Position: SF

    Years Pro: Seven


    Childress has actually participated in a dunk contest before, just not in America.

    While playing in Greece in 2010, Childress joined the competition but has yet to show off his skills in the NBA version.

    While he's still recovering from an ankle injury, by February Childress should be fully healthy and able to show off his dunking ability.  He's not the most recognizable face on the Nets, but his high-flying skills are better than those of his more famous teammates.

Charlotte Bobcats: Jeffery Taylor

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    2011-2012 Dunk Frequency: N/A (Rookie)

    Position: SF

    Years Pro: One


    If Taylor ever enters the Slam Dunk Contest, it's safe to say he'd score a high mark with this beauty.

    A great athlete at 6'7", the Bobcats rookie is getting good playing time for a much-improved Charlotte team chipping in 7.4 points per game as of Nov. 25.

    Gerald Henderson and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist could put on a show as well, but it's dunks like this from Taylor's Vanderbilt days that have us wondering what he could come up with.

Chicago Bulls: Taj Gibson

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    2011-2012 Dunk Frequency: 10 percent

    Position: PF

    Years Pro: Four


    A frequent dunker, Gibson is still giving Dwyane Wade nightmares.

    At 6'9", Gibson has the height and length to come up with a variety of dunks that would wow NBA fans.

    He's shown the ability to finish with one hand or two and extend when needed to throw down a monster jam.  Maybe a check to Wade's favorite charity could convince him to reprise his role in the 2011 playoffs.

Cleveland Cavaliers: Alonzo Gee

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    2011-2012 Dunk Frequency: Eight percent

    Position: SF

    Years Pro: Four


    Gee is the Cavs starting small forward known best for his defense and thunderous dunks.

    At only 6'6", Gee is only moderately built but has a great vertical which often leads to some power dunks over opposing defenders.

    Some of his victims have included Kevin Garnett, Udonis Haslem and Chris Anderson and half of the Indiana Pacers team as you can see here.

Dallas Mavericks: Jared Cunningham

8 of 31

    2011-2012 Dunk Frequency: N/A (Rookie)

    Position: SG

    Years Pro: One


    As bad as my 16-year-old self wants to see Vince Carter on this list, it's time to pass the torch.

    Cunningham will never be the dunker Carter was, but he does have the hops to hold his own in the competition.

    Cunningham would have a huge advantage in the contest with Carter as his mentor, and an assist from Vinsanity would certainly help sway voters.

Denver Nuggets: Kenneth Faried

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    2011-2012 Dunk Frequency: 21 percent

    Position: Power Forward

    Years Pro: Two


    With roughly one out of his every five made shots being a dunk, Faried is more than qualified to make this list.

    The Manimal is a passionate dunker, and any yells or animal cries that come from him should be considered an added bonus.

    The hair doesn't hurt, either.

Detroit Pistons: Andre Drummond

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    2011-2012 Dunk Frequency: N/A (Rookie)

    Position: C

    Years Pro: One


    Few big men can throw down like this.

    At 6'10", Drummond is a physical specimen in the same build of Dwight Howard.  With a 7'6" wingspan, Drummond has the height and length to pull off dunks other guys simply can't.

    If he could only convert a free throw once in awhile, Drummond may find some more playing time in which to pull off these monster jams.

Golden State Warriors: Harrison Barnes

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    2011-2012 Dunk Frequency: N/A (Rookie)

    Position: SF

    Years Pro: One


    Barnes may just be a rookie, but he might have the dunk of the year so far.

    The former UNC star has had an NBA body and game for years now and is enjoying a solid rookie season with the upstart Warriors.

    Jeremy Tyler would also be a solid choice, as the former High School star has been known to throw down some sick in game dunks.

Houston Rockets: James Harden

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    2011-2012 Dunk Frequency: Five percent

    Position: SG

    Years Pro: Four


    Back when the beard was in it's infancy stage.

    Harden is known more for his shooting, but can throw down with the best guards in the league.

    Now building his own superstar brand in Houston, fans would love to see Harden go up against a Russell Westbrook or Kevin Durant in an epic finals matchup.

Indiana Pacers: Orlando Johnson

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    2011-2012 Dunk Frequency: N/A (Rookie)

    Position: SG

    Years Pro: One


    With two of the best dunkers in the league in Gerald Green and Paul George, Johnson would be in good hands while practicing for the contest.

    Much like 2012 dunk champion Jeremy Evans of the Utah Jazz, Johnson is struggling to find playing time with his current squad but can produce when called on.

    A 6'5" shooting guard; Johnson has the build to throw down some impressive jams.

Los Angeles Clippers: DeAndre Jordan

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    2011-2012 Dunk Frequency: 33 percent

    Position:  C

    Years Pro: Five


    One of the more frequent dunkers in the league, Jordan often finds himself on the receiving end of a Chris Paul alley-oop.

    Jordan's dunks are hard, like he's trying to punish the rim for daring to hold up the nylon below it.

    While teammate Blake Griffin will always be a welcome addition to All-Star weekend, it's Jordan that needs to take his turn in the Slam Dunk Contest.

Los Angeles Lakers: Metta World Peace

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    2011-2012 Dunk Frequency: Four percent

    Position: SF

    Years Pro: 14


    So what if only four percent of his baskets come off dunks?  Is there any doubt World Peace wouldn't put on quite a show?

    At 6'7", World Peace packs a little more muscle than the traditional high-flyer, but what he lacks in athleticism he would certainly make up for in creativity.

    If participating in the same contest, James Harden would make sure he stayed 100 yards away after every World Peace dunk.

Memphis Grizzlies: Jerryd Bayless

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    2011-2012 Dunk Frequency: Zero percent

    Position: PG/SG

    Years Pro: Five


    Bayless may dunk the least out of anyone on this list, but that doesn't mean he can't when needed.

    At just 6'3", it's remarkably impressive that Bayless can dunk this hard, much less on a double pump.

    Memphis is off to a hot start, and Bayless can come in at either guard position and fill it up on the offensive end.

Miami Heat: LeBron James

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    2011-2012 Dunk Frequency: Five percent

    Position: SF

    Years Pro: 10


    The greatest player in the game today has never participated in the Slam-Dunk Contest.

    This, in many ways, is a tragedy.

    With LeBron's combination of size and athleticism, there's no limit to the amount of dunks he could pull off.

    This, to me, this is his most important dunk in over nine seasons of NBA.  While it's not his most exciting or creative, it showed that James has no fear while on the basketball court and that everyone else needed to foul him or get out of the way.

    Please, for the good of the league LeBron, take part in this years contest.

Milwaukee Bucks: Brandon Jennings

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    2011-2012 Dunk Frequency: Zero percent

    Position: PG

    Years Pro: Four


    Jennings much prefers the three-pointer to the dunk, and as you can see from the video this is truly a shame.

    About as athletic as a point guard gets, Jennings can get creative on his dunks as demonstrated here from a dunk contest back in 2008.

    Adding Jennings as a participant would mean some extra swag and flavor to the contest.

Minnesota Timberwolves: Dante Cunningham

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    2011-2012 Dunk Frequency: Six percent

    Position: PF

    Years Pro: Four


    With one of the more memorable dunks of last year's playoffs, Cunningham would be a welcome addition to the contest.

    At 6'8" and 230 pounds, Cunningham has the perfect frame for a dunk contest participant.  His athleticism and vertical would bode well for his chances at winning.

    Teammate Derrick Williams could give him some pointers, having taken part in the contest last season.

New Orleans Hornets: Austin Rivers

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    2011-2012 Dunk Frequency: N/A (Rookie)

    Position: PG/SG

    Years Pro: One


    Anthony Davis may be the popular pick, but if you're looking for creativity, go with Rivers.

    Pulling off this gem while back in high school, it's clear Rivers has some ups for someone who's only 6'4".

    Shooting just 31 percent with the Hornets as of Nov. 25, maybe Rivers should look to get a little closer to the basket more often.

New York Knicks: Carmelo Anthony

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    2011-2012 Dunk Frequency: Two percent

    Position: SF

    Years Pro: 10 


    A rare dunker while in games, it's safe to say Anthony is perfectly capable of doing so when needed.

    At 6'8" with a knack for scoring, Melo would help bring some swagger back to the contest. 

    One of the best scorers in the game today, it's time Anthony proves he can win a title in something.

Oklahoma City Thunder: Kevin Durant

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    2011-2012 Dunk Frequency: Five percent

    Position: SF

    Years Pro: Six


    There are about seven different Thunder players that would do well in a Slam Dunk Contest.

    Durant, however, would be by far the most entertaining to watch.

    Like LeBron, Durant is one of the few superstars in the game who has never participated in the event.  At 6'9" with arms like Stretch Armstrong, Durant could really pull off some amazing slams.

    The dunk contest needs help from players like Durant, and he knows it.

Orlando Magic: Moe Harkless

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    2011-2012 Dunk Frequency: N/A (Rookie)

    Position: SF

    Years Pro: One


    Harkless has been working his way into the Magic rotation thanks to his athleticism and an injury to Hedo Turkoglu.

    A one-and-done college player from St. John's, Harkless has shown the ability to elevate when needed.

    While most of his dunks are more power than flash, he certainly has the build and ability to create some special slams.

Philadelphia 76ers: Thaddeus Young

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    2011-2012 Dunk Frequency: Six percent

    Position: PF

    Years Pro: Six


    Young has moved to the starting power forward spot for Philly this season, playing well both offensively and on the glass.

    Having one of the best dunkers in the past decade on his team in Jason Richardson, Young could certainly come up with some highlight-reel worthy jams of his own.

    At 6'8" and 235 pounds, Young can not only get up, but has the muscle to put some emphasis on his slams.

Phoenix Suns: Michael Beasley

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    2011-2012 Dunk Frequency: One percent

    Position: SF/PF

    Years Pro: Five


    Beasley has apparently been entering dunk contests for years, just not in the NBA.

    Now with the Suns, Beasley has been struggling to find his shot all season and could use a confidence booster like winning a Slam Dunk Contest would provide.

    Jumping over someone may be too easy however, since he's been doing it at the age most of us begin to drive.

Portland Trail Blazers: Nicolas Batum

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    2011-2012 Dunk Frequency: Five percent

    Position: SF

    Years Pro: Five


    The Blazers have lots of potential contest candidates with J.J. Hickson, Meyers Leonard, Damian Lillard and Batum.

    Of the bunch, Batum has the best dunking potential with his long arms and 6'8", 200-pound frame.

    The Wizards learned very quickly here to keep Batum far, far away from the basket if possible.

Sacramento Kings: Tyler Honeycutt

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    2011-2012 Dunk Frequency: 17 percent

    Position: SF

    Years Pro: Two


    Struggling to find playing time in the NBA, Honeycutt was a former high school and college star at UCLA. 

    While it's tempting to put DeMarcus Cousins or Thomas Robinson on this list, I think it's safe to say neither of them could pull off a dunk like this.

    Six, yes, six people lined up for this dunk Honeycutt pulled off while still in high school.

    In the dunk contest, Honeycutt could just line up the entire Kings roster, since everyone else has been jumping over them all year.

San Antonio Spurs: Tim Duncan

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    2011-2012 Dunk Frequency: Five percent

    Position: PF

    Years Pro: 16


    This would be Duncan's chance to show what he can really do.

    No more hiding behind that bank-shot jumper, it's time for Duncan to unleash the beast.

    While he may not be the most athletic or exciting to watch, Duncan in the Slam Dunk Contest would certainly have people tuning in out of pure curiosity if nothing else.

    Hey, if he can pull this off on the NBA's best shot-blocker, who's to say Duncan couldn't win the contest?

Toronto Raptors: Terrence Ross

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    2011-2012 Dunk Frequency: N/A (Rookie)

    Position: SG

    Years Pro: One


    Just a rookie, Ross has shown the ability to stroke it from deep or finish at the rim when needed.

    Coming in with fellow rookie Jonas Valanciunas to help aid the Raptors this season, Ross has shown his dunking ability during his two seasons at Washington.

    One-eighties and 360s are part of any dunk contest.  I'd say he's got that part down.

Utah Jazz: Derrick Favors

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    2011-2012 Dunk Frequency: 13 percent

    Position: PF/C

    Years Pro: Three


    Only in his third pro season, Favors looks like a star already.

    One of the most athletic big men in the game, Favors showed off a little bit of what he can do here while still in high school.

    At 6'11", Favors resembles a young Dwight Howard in both frame and game.  Odds are, their dunk contest success would be the same.

Washington Wizards: John Wall

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    2011-2012 Dunk Frequency: Four percent

    Position: PG

    Years Pro: Three


    Wall is one of the more exciting point guards in the game today when healthy, and he's no stranger to aviation.

    The dunk seen here that he pulled off in the rookie and sophomore game was pure magic and would have certainly been contest-worthy.

    With his athleticism and flair for the dramatic, it shouldn't be long until we see Wall in a contest.

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