NBA Rumors: Magic's Cole Anthony Commits to 2022 Slam Dunk ContestJanuary 29, 2022
In the midst of a breakout season, Orlando Magic point guard Cole Anthony will put some of his skill set on display during All-Star Weekend.
Per Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium, Anthony has committed to participating in the 2022 Slam Dunk Contest.
Anthony is no stranger to dunk contests. He won the City of Palms High School dunk contest in 2018 and was a standout in the 2019 McDonald's All-America Game dunk contest, despite losing to Fran Belibi.
Anthony is the first player who has reportedly committed to the Slam Dunk Contest this year. Portland Trail Blazers guard Anfernee Simons is the reigning champion, but he has yet to announce if he will defend his crown.
The last time the reigning Dunk Contest champion participated in the event the following year was in 2016 when Zach LaVine successfully defended his title.
As the Magic have gone all-in on rebuilding, Anthony has been given more freedom to figure his game out in his second season. Orlando has the worst record in the NBA (10-40) and third-worst net rating (minus-8.1), per Basketball Reference.
Anthony has turned in a performance that suggests he can be a key piece of the Magic's future. The 21-year-old is averaging 17.9 points, 6.0 rebounds and 6.0 assists per game in 36 starts.
If he can turn into a more reliable shooter (39.2 field-goal percentage this season), he has the tools to be a dynamic scorer in the backcourt.
The 2022 Slam Dunk Contest will be held on Feb. 19 at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse in Cleveland.